Meet Elizabeth Nees, M.DIV, PCC

Elizabeth’s Bio – Elizabeth is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and Professional Certified Coach (PCC, ICF) who finds deep joy and purpose in working with groups and individuals at significant crossroads in their lives.  She is a passionate, transparent, empathetic leader who not only feels called to, but thrives in situations where difficult conversations are needed.  Elizabeth currently serves as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Needham, MA in addition to working as coach or consultant to several congregations in New England.  

More about Elizabeth – I was primarily raised in southwest Wyoming before moving to Colorado where I completed my undergraduate degree in Education and the Fine Arts.  After college, I spent one year with the Urban Servant Corps in Denver, Colorado living in intentional community with seven other young adults dedicated to living simply, working toward peace and justice and living out their faith through community service.  I also served as a missionary in Cairo, Egypt (through the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program) where I worked with and among Sudanese refugees awaiting resettlement. Upon returning to the United States I worked at the ELCA Churchwide offices recruiting young adults for global mission service before attending seminary in Philadelphia.  I have served congregations in New Jersey, California and Massachusetts.

Fun Stuff I’ve Done –  From middle school through college I played the oboe.  Playing several concerts as a member of the Utah Youth Symphony in high school ranks among my favorite musical experiences.  In a 24-hour period, I swam in the Red Sea during the day, climbed up Mt. Sinai at night to see the sunrise and then descended at dawn.  Spent the Christmas season in rural Egypt and Bethlehem, Palestine.  

Stuff I Love – Rescuing houseplants from the clearance section and nursing them back to life.  The excitement and anticipation of being on a walking or hiking trail with my family, never knowing what beauty is around the corner.  Drinking a good cup of coffee on the sun-drenched couch after just putting my kids on the bus for the day.  Cutting up pieces of glass and putting them back together in interesting and beautiful patterns (also know as stained-glass art!).  The honor of hearing the stories of people’s lives; where they’ve been, how they have struggled and thrived, what they’ve learned.  

Still Yet To Do – Explore the beauty and wonder of Alaska and Acadia National Park. Cultivate a thriving flower garden full of native, pollinator-friendly plants.  Participate in a local community theatre production.  Travel to the UK with my husband while my children have a week with grandma.  

Favorite Accomplishment – My year in Egypt began with an intensive Arabic course.  The combination of a gifted teacher, daily immersion in the language and my lack of concern for making lots of public (sometimes really embarrassing) language mistakes, led to me quickly picking up on the language.  This opened doors for relationships with some of the most fascinating individuals I have ever met and a culture and people I love and deeply respect to this day. It also led to a summer living with a family and volunteering at a local non-profit in Beit Jala, Palestine where I continued learning from resilient, kind people.  

Guiding Philosophy – “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”  -Lilla Watson

My Motto – “Magic lies in challenging what seems impossible.”  ~ Carol Mosely Braun

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