Meet Erin Petersen


erinI met with Erin at the Northstar Church offices one Wednesday after staff lunch. I came by too early and got bullied into going with them, which is just utter torture. Spending time with your friends? No, thank you. Erin and I had just gotten into a semi-half-hearted argument about me applying to grad school out of state. I think we might have punched each other at some point. This pretty much describes our relationship.

Erin and I met just a few months ago when she grabbed my arm and scared the life out of me when she shouted, “HI, I’M ERIN!” in my face. But despite our awkward first encounter, Erin and I were immediately friends. So, to be fair, this statement might be a little biased, but in my opinion, everyone Erin meets and spends time with is only blessed by her presence. She works hard and she’s incredibly generous. She’s an amazing friend and leader. So although it took us like 10 minutes to figure out how to spell exegetical, Erin is awesome.

What do you do for work, other than being a mom to three?

I’m the college minister at Northstar and I’m a personal trainer on the side.

What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

I have a gum addiction.

What is your favorite book, movie, and TV show?

What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Nancy and Healing Stones by Nancy Rue; Braveheart; House Hunters.

Where are you from? And how did you end up in Blacksburg?

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both my brother and sister went to [Virginia] Tech and my parents moved down because they love the area. We were living in Baltimore at the time and we had Harper. We moved down here because we knew it was a great place to raise a family.

How long have you been working for Northstar?

Since May of 2016.

Why did you choose Northstar?

We kind of grew out of our old church and we were looking for something else. We came to visit Northstar and we liked that the preaching was not topical. (Alex says it’s expository exegetical teaching if you want the technical term, which we did.)

How would you describe Northstar in three words?

Authentic, fun, family.

Tell me about your family.

My husband, Andrew, and I have been married almost 10 years. He owns his own contracting business. We have a daughter, Harper, who is 7 and a gymnast. That girl spends more time upside down than she does upright. Finley, my son, and also my little ninja, is 5. And my other daughter, Scout, is 3 and very sassy.

How has God been working in your life lately?

Well, for the past three years I’ve been struggling with chronic Lyme disease, which has turned my world upside down. The things I used to love, I can no longer do. Things like running and Crossfit. Because when I have a flare-up, my pain puts me in bed. It’s given me a more eternal perspective, that this is not my home and someday I will have no more pain. It’s also drawn me closer to God and helped me see that I can find joy through the pain.

Is there anything else you want to share?

I’ve never experienced an atmosphere like Northstar. It truly is a family and I’m grateful everyday for the people of our church.