Karen Wight Hoogheem

Ordained in 2003, Karen has served as a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor in Ishpeming, Michigan (Upper Peninsula), Ames, Iowa, and Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Karen enjoys the busy schedule of church life, the challenges and vibrancy of serving in community, and the responsibilities of leadership.

Over the years, however, Karen noticed a desire within herself for something more than busy church buildings and programs. She longed to experience spiritual depth and spiritual resources at church. Sometimes, she noticed that church members looked elsewhere to learn about spirituality, including mindfulness classes, yoga, books clubs, podcasts, and other faith traditions. This noticing led her to pursue further education in Christian spirituality and practice. She feels called to connect with people who feel lost in the busyness of church and long for something more.

Karen received a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from St. Catherine’s University. She partnered with St. Kate’s to develop curriculum for a pilot program for the Initiative for Contemplative Discipleship, a Thriving Congregations Lilly Grant that brings contemplative spiritual practices to congregations as a way to support people’s relationship with God as they listen for God’s specific invitation to them to participate in God’s healing of the world.

Karen serves as the Director for Contemplative Discipleship at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove where she leads the Contemplative Community for Spiritual Transformation. This community provides support to individuals as they learn new spiritual practices, re-connect with the history and tradition of Christian spirituality, and discern God’s invitation for them to actively live out their unique calling to be followers of Jesus in their daily lives.

In spiritual direction, Karen provides a gentle relationship for people to bring their questions and doubts, their joys and challenges, and their desire to listen and respond to God’s calling in their life.

Karen experiences the Spirit’s presence in silence and solitude, journaling, long distance running, playing with her dog, and baking and eating chocolate chip cookies. She married Joel in 1999 and they parent two wonderful children.