My name is Laura Terasaki.
I was raised in a Christian home by two loving parents and am the oldest of two children. Our family lived in a large, multicultural suburb of Seattle, Washington and actively participated in the life of a local congregation. Being raised in a family of faith and supported by many mentors, my relationship with the Lord was nurtured and deepened from an early age.
In high school, I took an active role in the life of the church and served on mission trips, in youth ministry, and also in worship leadership. I began to develop an interest in living life missionally and a growing concern for issues of poverty and God’s love and justice for the poor. Though I didn’t know it then, God was planting seeds and preparing me for my future vocation in ministry. In my senior year of high school, I also met Michael, who would become my amazing husband and partner in life.
A few short years after I graduated from Seattle Pacific University, Michael and I were married. We began attending Bellevue Presbyterian Church, a large congregation in a growing suburb of Seattle. I also continued working for an affiliate organization of this church called Jubilee Reach and ministered to low-income, immigrant families in a multicultural neighborhood appropriately named “Crossroads”. It was through several holy experiences at this organization that I realized God’s calling on my life to ordained ministry and I soon sent off my application to the Master of Divinity program at Fuller Theological Seminary.
I initially started at the Fuller Northwest Campus and worked part-time as an Assistant in the Christian Growth department and as the Small Groups Coordinator at our church. However, after my first year in seminary, Michael was accepted to law school and we moved to Southern California. I continued with my degree at Fuller’s main campus in Pasadena, CA and we joined a small, multicultural congregation called First Presbyterian Church of Downey. Eventually, I came under the care of the congregation and entered the ordination process through the Los Ranchos Presbytery in Orange County, CA.
Since then, I have had the privilege of completing several ministry internships. I completed level 1 chaplaincy training through the Clinical Pastoral Education at Arcadia Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, CA where I was assigned primarily to the emergency room, stroke unit, and critical care (ICU). I also completed pastoral internships at Pasadena Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, CA and at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Orange, CA which is an 1001 Worshiping Communities church plant.
Where I Am Today (updated 2/2016):
I have been working at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, an Asian-American/Multicultural congregation in Placentia, CA for over a year and a half. My primary role is to oversee youth and family ministry as well as worship. I also share in congregational care responsibilities and preach about 30% of the time which I enjoy immensely.
My personal life is also going quite well. Michael was recently hired as an attorney at the Helton Law Group in Huntington Beach, CA and we are expecting our first child (a boy!) in April 2016. I am looking forward to a brief maternity leave and then hope to return to ministry shortly after. I have had several contacts regarding potential pastoral calls but am still looking for the right fit. I hope to be serving a PCUSA congregation as pastor in 2016.