After a long career as a pharmacist, even managing his own pharmacy at one point, Anthony Scalisi is starting a second career in becoming an ordained minister.
Scalisi is following a call to serve as minister for Sion Lutheran Church in Lake Mills and West Prairie Lutheran Church in Leland.
Scalisi, who begins his first full-time ministry duties on October 1, will be Ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 6, at Sion Lutheran Church, Lake Mills.
“I am very excited to be here and anticipate the Holy Spirit will be directing us for a good future,” Scalisi said.
The offering taken at the ordination service will be donated to Angels of Hope, Lake Mills Ministerial Association, local Lions clubs and local Boy Scouts of America Council.
Scalisi comes to the North Iowa area from Fontanelle, where he completed a one-year internship at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. He previously lived in Staten Island, New York, but also has spent time in Cooperstown, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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“I moved upstate New York to Cooperstown and got heavily involved with the church there,” he said. “I just started doing things for the church, being very involved, working on the church council, I was the council president and I assisted with the worship services and other aspects the pastor would ask me to do.”
One day, Scalisi said it occurred to him there might be more to ministry than simply helping at the church occasionally. Maybe he could do ministry full-time.
“I had a good, diverse career in pharmacy work in communities, hospitals and nursing homes, but I finally decided to go back to school and follow a career into ministry,” Scalisi said. “I really enjoy working in the church, working with people, helping people in various capacities, and I very strongly believe in the Word of God; the Bible, God’s message.”
At that point, Scalisi admits it was a scary thing to consider reentering post-secondary education after so many years away from it, but he enrolled at Trinity School for Ministry, an Anglican seminary outside Pittsburgh that also raises up Lutheran pastors and pastors of other denominations. He completed a Master of Divinity in May 2018.
“There’s always been a lot of criticism of the church but I’ve always said that members of the ministry are human beings just like everybody else and they make mistakes just like everybody else, but that does not change God’s message for us and what Jesus Christ did for us,” Scalisi said. “That’s what we have to hold onto.”