shepherdessWaking up in a home provided by a gracious congregation with a family that scatters off to various schools and a spouse who tends to the mental health needs of others and having our fur babies under afoot starts my day with a grateful heart.  I pray and head into the office to see what God has in store for the day.  My calendar reflects the deep meaningful and holy spaces and overflows with the ministries of the church for which God has called.  I smile to myself because I know this is the wondrous life I’ve been called to.  The sea of colors on my calendar is like a garden of blooming flowers representing the places God is already moving in our congregation, in our community, in our Presbytery, and beyond.  It is a profound gift to tend to these spaces, to minister to you, and with you, as we navigate the ebb and flow of life together.  Indeed, we carry much on our shoulders.  There are days when the high winds of uncertainty buffet us, scattering our focus, and days when we feel mired in the mud of life’s demands, struggling to accomplish all that we set out to do.  Yet, even as the rains fall and the storms rage, seemingly thwarting our efforts to heed God’s call, we are reminded that it is He who calms the tempests and brings peace to our hearts, centering us once again in His grace.

Serving as your pastor is a joy-filled vocation, a call that emanates from God and radiates to each of you, and, in turn, enriches my own life and that of my family.  This multifaceted role is one I embrace with the utmost seriousness, continually seeking divine guidance in every aspect of my service.

To be your pastor is to be more than a preacher or a minister, for while some may use these terms interchangeably, the roles are distinct.  A preacher’s sole responsibility may be to proclaim the Word in worship, and indeed, there are many who excel in this sacred task (several that we all have heard instantly come to mind)!  Preaching is a vital component of our faith, as worship lies at the heart of our communal life.

Being a minister is also essential because biblically we are all called to be a minister of the gospel, sharing it in all we do (Matthew 28) so laity and clergy alike are called to be ministers.  We are all called to care for one another, serve those in need, share God’s love and more.

Sometimes we hear people refer to a pastor as the head of staff or lead pastor.  This role tends to consist of the administrative andephe shrding pieces of pastoring.  This aspect of ministry focuses on vision, community and church partnerships, engagement, management, finances, vitality, and ministry presence within the community.  Therefore, none of these roles encompasses the fullest understanding of the call of a pastor but they are important pieces.  Pastors aren’t perfect in all that we do but we aim to be faithful and present.

It is a joy and a gift to serve God through this congregation and the ministries of this congregation.  I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities we have to learn from one another, journey through faith and life together, and follow where God is calling this wonderful faithful congregation.  It’s been such a meaningful ride so far that I can’t wait to see how the Spirit continues to move!

Beyond grateful.  Beyond blessed.  Beyond humbled.  Beyond loved.

Pastor Jen