Katie Chatelaine-Samsen

Director of Individual Giving

Katie Chatelaine-Samsen began her life somewhere south of Lake Wobegon in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. While her hometown was not known for strong women, good-looking men, and above-average children, it did fulfill many of the other great Minnesotan stereotypes, such as being home to six different Lutheran churches that all hosted potlucks on various occasions. (Katie has a great recipe for Jell-O salad, by the way!)

Katie received her bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, where she studied political science and religion and played violin in the St. Olaf Orchestra. After holding a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other throughout her college career, she discerned a call to ministry and decided to attend Princeton Theological Seminary, where she received her master of divinity degree. Her seminary experiences took her from working for immigration reform with a Holy Spirit-infused church in New Jersey to a small, remote Lutheran “un-intentional” community in the Cascades to hospital beds in the NICU and OB units of a hospital in Minneapolis. 

Katie is passionate about re-envisioning what it means to “do church” in whatever place she calls home. She is inspired by her Church of the Saviour worshipping community, Festival Church, where she plays violin and preaches on occasion. 

Katie lives with her husband Chris in Washington, D.C. A competitive runner, Katie enjoys discovering new running routes that take her everywhere from Rock Creek Park and the monuments to across the Maryland/Virginia border. When she is not training for her next marathon, Katie can often be found exploring D.C. on bike with her husband, climbing mountains, listening to esoteric music, relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea, or trying out a new recipe to fuel her athletic endeavors.

Articles By This Author

2015 Kick-off Campaigns Update: Already a Busy Year

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 02-24-2015
2015 growth graph. Image courtesy bluebay/shutterstock.com

2015 growth graph. Image courtesy bluebay/shutterstock.com

We are only two months into 2015 and it has already proven to be a busy year. There is much to be hopeful for in this coming year and much work still to be done on changing the hearts and minds of those in positions of leadership. We are so thankful for our community of supporters who invest and encourage our mission and ministry!

Purple Flowers of Hope

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 12-18-2014
Purple flowers. Image courtesy Robyn Mackenzie/shutterstock.com

Purple flowers. Image courtesy Robyn Mackenzie/shutterstock.com

What storms are you weathering this Advent? What fires assail your mind, body, and spirit? What relationships cry out to be restored? As we wait and prepare for the arrival of Christ in our midst, both in Bethlehem and at the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God, may we remember that God cares for us in the midst of our struggles and that we can look forward to the complete restoration of our relationships, our communities, and of the world entire.

A Season of Hope

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 12-01-2014
Yeko Photo Studio / Shutterstock.com

Yeko Photo Studio / Shutterstock.com

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” —Romans 8:24-25

We’ve had a tough year. The media has been full of stories about the raging Ebola epidemic, gridlock and partisanship in Congress, racial injustice in countless communities across our country, immigrant children stranded at the U.S./Mexico border, unrest in the Gaza Strip, and so much more. The Sojourners staff experienced our own personal heartbreak this year with the passing of Elizabeth “Zab” Palmberg, a beloved member of our editorial staff.

With all of this pain and heartache in the world, I often find myself asking, “Where is the hope?”

I realize I am not alone in asking this question. It’s one that many people seem to be asking themselves this year, in light of all that has happened and that continues to happen.

In the midst of my search for hope, I find comfort in these words from Romans, quoted above. As a Christian, I hope in the resurrection and for the full redemption of our broken world. This vision of a redeemed world keeps me going in the midst of my questioning, my doubt, my impatience and frustration with the current brokenness of the world. I hope for this unseen reality and eagerly await its arrival.

An Interview with Elaina Ramsey, Sojourners' Women and Girls Campaign Associate

Elaina Ramsey participating in Sojourners' day of action to help end violence against women.

I firmly believe that people of faith can transform the world. Despite the many flaws and failures of the church and her people, Christians have a tremendous amount of power and influence to do good. This campaign is all about harnessing the leadership of churches and clergy, and encouraging people of faith to raise their voices on behalf of women and girls. Through education and empowerment, we can confront gender-based oppressions and change harmful practices, policies, and structures within the church and the broader culture. It’s a tall order, but one that demands nothing less from us if we truly believe in the sacred worth of women and girls.

Welcoming Sojourners Intern Cycle 31

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 09-18-2014

Every September, Sojourners welcomes a new cycle of interns who have committed to living and working with us in our office in Washington, D.C., for one year. This group of 10 women and men work full time in the ministry of Sojourners, are given vocational and spiritual guidance, and live together in intentional community. Sojourners is also committed to providing housing, health care, food, and a modest living stipend for each of these great additions to our team.

The Sojourners Internship Program is more than an internship program: it’s one of the many ways we seek to build the next generation of leaders turning faith into action for social justice. Alumni of our program are serving as pastors, educators, and activists across the world (now more than 300 strong!). Several have joined our staff. Many of our alumni tell us this internship was a catalyst on their journeys.

We’re excited to introduce the newest group of Sojourners interns – Cycle 31 – to you. They are a group that comes from a diversity of backgrounds and religious traditions, and all offer their unique experiences and life journeys to our work here. Continue reading below to learn about each member of Cycle 31 and someone they’re grateful for who has influenced their personal journey to Sojourners. We look forward to seeing how they will transform us and be transformed by their experience with us in the coming year!

An August of Turning Faith into Action

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 09-15-2014

For some reason, our office calendar is saying that we’re already halfway through the month of September – how did that happen? August, which tends to be the quietest month both in Washington, D.C., and at Sojourners, just flew by without pausing for a vacation from the D.C. heat and humidity. Please keep reading to find out what kept us so busy.

The Church Has Been Left Behind

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 06-04-2014
Tilyo Petrov Rusev/Shutterstock.com

The church has been left behind, but we are not alone. Tilyo Petrov Rusev/Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: This post was originally a sermon in our monthly Sojourners chapel.

Friends, grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Around the time I started middle school, my church acquired a series of books called The Left Behind Series. These books chronicle the final days of earth as outlined in the book of Revelation and other apocalyptic biblical texts. I won’t offer any commentary on the theology of these books, or even their literary value, but, as a middle-schooler, they were fairly impressionable.

The entire series begins with a dramatic reinterpretation of the rapture. People are going about their daily lives — driving to work, flying airplanes, making breakfast — when all of a sudden, people who had been there just seconds before are gone. Simply vanished into thin air. Of course, chaos ensues, because who is driving the car? Flying the airplane? Tending the stove? The world they leave behind is shattered, broken, and chaotic! This seminal event — the rapture — shapes the rest of the series as those who have been “left behind” work to win the ultimate prize — a place in heaven where they are no longer left behind.

Who Is Your Woman of Faith?

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 03-31-2014
By Unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dorothy Day, By Unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Women of faith have moved hearts, minds, and mountains. They have changed the world by their faithful witness – and changed lives. Through our Women and Girls campaign, Sojourners is working to gather and lift up the voices and stories of these women to inspire a new generation of women to lead on faith and justice.

Sojourners’ Women and Girls campaign is our newest initiative in our ever-expanding work for justice in our world. Through creative advocacy, education, outreach, bridge-building, and a variety of other ways, we are affirming and empowering the God-given leadership abilities of women and girls in their congregations, communities, and the world.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we asked some of our supporters to make a gift in honor of a woman of faith in their life. Below are the stories of a few of these women of faith.

Envy: Beware the Green-Eyed Monster

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 03-27-2014
Green-eyed monster, Ralwel / Shutterstock.com

Green-eyed monster, Ralwel / Shutterstock.com

I think what lies at the heart of the mix-up between jealousy and envy is not only the result of many of us zoning out during English class, but may also be a consequence of the way our culture objectifies people. An easy example of cultural objectification is the way women are often portrayed in movies, TV shows, ads, and other forms of media. Women are often the passive recipients of a man’s sexual desire, a designer’s clothing, or a corporation’s product. The message communicated through these portrayals is that women are not people who have dignity, but are objects waiting, and wanting, to be used. Other examples of objectification are bountiful and are sadly all too common in our world.

The objectification of another human being runs directly counter to the Gospel message. By virtue of the fact that all people are created by God — and even made in God’s image, as we are told in Genesis 1:27 — all humans possess a God-given dignity that should not be overlooked. This dignity includes being seen as a unique person with whom a relationship can be nurtured, the ability to lead and contribute to a community, and just being valued and loved for the very fact that the person is God’s creation.

You Can’t Point a Person to Christ with a Gun

by Katie Chatelaine-Samsen 03-10-2014
AR-15 front combat site, Artifexx / Shutterstock.com

AR-15 front combat site, Artifexx / Shutterstock.com

During the Crusades, conversion by the sword was a common practice. Today, it’s conversion by the bullet.

A growing trend in evangelism among some more conservative churches is to promise people a gun in exchange for attendance.

Some more prominent examples from the past few weeks: In Kentucky, several churches are hosting “Second Amendment Celebrations,” which feature a steak-and-potatoes dinner followed by a conversion sermon preached by a former pastor, outdoor TV host, and gun enthusiast. Attendees are promised the chance to win a firearm in exchange for showing up and staying to the end of the event. In New York, one church is planning to end its Sunday worship service with a raffle for a free AR-15 to honor “hunters and gun owners who have been so viciously attacked by the anti-Christian socialist media and antichristian socialist politicians the last few years.”

The organizers of these events claim they’re an effective way to bring people to Christ. By uniting gun culture with Christianity, they’re reaching out to an unchurched population to lead them to salvation.

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