I was raised as the second of five children on a small farm in northern Alberta, Canada. Family life included working together on the farm, reading, playing games, holiday time with cousins, and seeing parents role-model Christian faith and practices. Attending Mennonite Youth Convention and Mennonite World Conference events were important faith builders for me during my teen years. I received Jesus as my Lord and was baptized into the church at age 17.
During college at Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), I discovered an interest in justice and peace-building. That led to voluntary service assignments in New York City with the Mennonite Central Committee’s United Nations Liaison Office, and Pax Christi Metro New York, a Catholic peace and justice organization. After moving back to Alberta, I had a variety of rewarding work opportunities, including being an aide to special needs children, operating machinery as a farm-hand, and as a program assistant at Welcome Home Community in Edmonton. Following a sense of adventure, I moved to Tiskilwa, IL and served at Menno Haven Camp & Retreat Center for six years as Administrative Assistant.
Participating in congregational life and worship has always been important to me, and I was blessed by the encouragement for ministry I received from others. That nudging, as well as a sense of spiritual restlessness, led me to study at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary where I could test the call to pastoral ministry. Following graduation in 2012 (Master of Divinity), I served as a pastor at Paoli Mennonite Fellowship, in southern Indiana, for six years. Beginning in January 2019, I was pleased to accept the call to serve at Bethel.
One verse that has been meaningful to me for many years is Luke 1:45, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Outside of ministry, I enjoy singing, walking, baking, hiking and traveling with my husband Andrew, and keeping in touch with family and friends.
Miriam Lapp began working as Administrative Assistant at Bethel the summer of 2107. She had recently retired from teaching in the West Liberty-Salem School district where she taught in the elementary for nearly 30 Years.
Miriam grew up in the Midwest, moving to the West Liberty, Ohio area when she got married 45 years ago. Miriam and her husband, Steve, have 3 grown daughters, 3 sons-in-law and 12 grandchildren. They like to entertain family and friends on their farm. Cooking, outdoor photography, gardening and the natural sciences are a few of Miriam’s interests.
She has attended Bethel since the early 1980’s. Over the years, Miriam has served on the Ministry of Nurture, Administrative Council and food committees. The spiritual formation of children at Bethel has been her focus. She has participated in Bible School, Bethel Homework Help, Sunday School and children’s worship. Miriam enjoys serving the congregation through working in the church office.