Reverend Joyce Mack Scheyer

I am delighted to join St Luke’s to help expand the program for youth, families, and church school. I am honored to work with such an experienced and dedicated Christian Education team.  I welcome all of your energy and spiritual gifts as we chart this course along the exciting path that God calls us to explore as a congregation. I feel blessed to be in your midst for these next three years and perhaps longer.  As we prepare to grow and share a new vision of lifelong Christian Education embracing parents, children, and youth I recall God’s message in Isaiah 43:19 “Behold I am about to do a new thing” … read more

Most recently I was priest intern at St Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Lincoln, Nebraska and Interim Coordinator of Lincoln Episcopal Youth Community – a cooperative ministry of all four Episcopal churches in town.  I also served as part-time Hospice Chaplain for the past six months. I have three ‘young adult’ sons Ben, Peter, and Danny for whom I thank God every day.

I grew up in the Episcopal Church while my father was a social worker in the Army and my mother (also a social worker) stayed home to raise the four children while we traveled around.  I was baptized at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and confirmed at the Army base in Nurnberg-Furth, Germany.  I lived in Massachusetts and Connecticut from sixth grade through college with most summers at resident camp on a small lake in southern New Hampshire.

I graduated from Harvard College with honors.  After college I served in Peace Corps for two years in Sierra Leone, West Africa as agriculture extension agent.  I grew rice and taught math and science for grades 8-10.  Living in a Muslim village I learned to worship quietly yet faithfully by forming a small house church of Anglicans.  I returned to this country with a deep appreciation for the challenges of spiritual life on the edge of physical survival.  I studied international agricultural economics and wheat disease and earned a master’s degree from Oregon State University in soil science. I was active in campus ministry until I married.

I followed my sense of vocation in soil stewardship and environmental justice and found a job with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.  As a soil scientist I enjoyed working outside all day.  I moved my growing family north to Washington then east back home to Connecticut to be near my father.  I volunteered with cooperative preschool and began my involvement in my sons’ sports, music, church school, and drama that lasted many years.

A few years later the government downsized and I transferred to Nebraska to be near my brother and sister and their families in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I helped develop the online Web Soil Survey and designed many urban soil interpretations. I also earned a Ph. D from University of Nebraska in Soil Physics and Statistical Modeling.  I helped create the international urban soils workgroup and led global studies on dietary risk from industrial contamination.  On Sundays I led the youth group at church and was president of diocesan Daughters of the King.

My longing to focus on full time ministry stayed with me throughout my career with USDA.  After  much urging I finally heard God’s call to entered the ordination process in Diocese of Nebraska.  I graduated from Episcopal Divinity School with a Master of Divinity and was ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood in the Diocese of Nebraska.