I’m Danlias Howe, and it is a tremendous blessing to serve on the leadership team here at Wellspring. I’m entering the SMP program at Concordia Seminary later this month and very soon will be called to serve a two-year vicarage at Wellspring while I pursue ordination. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in this next season of my ministry!
Some folks may wonder about my first name. “Danlias” is a way to say Daniel in Gaeilge (the Irish Language). My paternal grandparents were both from the far western part of Ireland and immigrated to the US when they were young adults. My mom’s family is of Swedish and English descent. I’m married to Cathie and we have two wonderful adult daughters: Marie and Caitlyn.
I grew up in Hartford Connecticut in a large blended family (8 kids). Unfortunately, my family didn’t attend a church but one summer some wonderful people invited me to Vacation Bible School at Christ Lutheran Church in a neighborhood called Frog Hollow. This was the beginning of my lifelong journey of faith. I was confirmed at Christ Lutheran and continued to worship there for some years.
After finishing undergraduate school in Hartford and Law School in Des Moines, I met Cathie and we got married about 2 years later. When we first got married we worshipped at Peace Lutheran Church on the South Side of Des Moines where our pastor was Jacob’s great Uncle, Victor Hoyer. As they say down in Magic Kingdom “It’s a Small World After All!”
During our marriage, we have had the great blessing to experience life in several different parts of the US: Des Moines, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Tampa Bay and Central Florida (DeBary) where we have lived for the past 13 years. We have been worshipping here at Wellspring for about two years now and we are blessed to serve as Welcome Home Leaders for the congregation, helping to guide and steward the parts of our church’s life that pertain to making folks feel at home.
Everywhere we have lived we have always looked for a church that we could center our lives around. This has been the source of our support, our fellowship and most of our friendships over the years. Many of those friendships have endured the years and the miles separating us. Whenever we found ourselves in a new area, we always tried to find a church that felt like home to us. That is one of the first things we noticed about Wellspring. The small congregation here seemed like one big extended family and we immediately felt a warm, comfortable, loving and inviting spirit here. I am so pleased to experience that Spirit growing deeper and purer as our little family has shown steady growth in the time that Cathie and I have been worshipping here.
During my journey of faith, I have enjoyed serving in all sorts of leadership roles wherever I found myself at the time. I count these all as blessings, even some of the roles that may have been outside of my comfort zone. Of all the roles that I have filled, two have brought me the biggest blessings and these are the two gifts that I have learned to treasure the most.
One is leading prayers. It so amazing to me that we serve a God who desires to engage in a dialogue with us and invites us to pray constantly. Whenever I have the opportunity to lead my Church Family in prayer I jump at the chance because it makes me feel particularly close and connected with God, a feeling that we all long for. I do a prayer walk around the church before every service, praying over all the rows, the musicians, the alter, the bibles, the Playroom and the Kid’s Table Room.
The other role that I have learned to treasure especially is researching and presenting God’s Word to my Church Family. I have found that the Lord calls me very, very close during the time that I am preparing a sermon, and I feel His Spirit surrounding me and guiding me during the entire process of research and prayer and composing what He wants me to say.
Creating a place where people can feel at home to explore their faith, expand their knowledge and be inspired to launch into a Life on Mission is what drives me to dedicate myself to Wellspring.