Growing up in a small newly formed Presbyterian Church in California with a pastor who was not afraid to get creative with worship deeply shaped the pastor I would to become. If you new me as a child, I was shy and quiet, but I have grown into a woman who has discovered her voice and my unique gifts for ministry. I am a crafty, creative person which finds expression primarily through scrap-booking, knitting, crochet and quilting. I am also an avid lover of books. The knowledge, new worlds and discoveries awaiting me within the pages of books excites me to no end. I am also a wife and mother of one beautiful little girl. My family gives me great joy, keeps me on my toes and constantly inspires me.
I am the pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Chili, New York. This is a marvelous, loving congregation that is willing to step out of the safety of the known into an opportunity to discover something new about their faith through creative worship experiences. We recently took a big step into the new by restructuring our committees into a Seasonal model where one season group does the work of our old Worship, Outreach, Christian Education and Fellowship committees, for a liturgical season after which the next season takes over. We were the second church to switch to this model after the Rev. Nancy J. Reinert created and implemented it at First Presbyterian Church in Caledonia, NY. This model has brought a new sense of discovery and creativity and excitement to our congregation.
As my church and I have lived into a more focused experience of the church seasons, I have come to discover the power of the liturgical seasons have in our lives. Each of us moves through stages of life from childhood to old age. Each of us moves through stages of understanding and knowledge, of growth in faith, blessings and what seems to be curses. The liturgical seasons give us a faith language for these times- Advent a period of longing for something more; Christmas a time of new birth and of God’s abiding presence in the here and now; Epiphany a time of discovery; Lent a time of need and repentance; Easter a time of resurrection joy; Pentecost a time of moving forward out of comfort zones; and Harvest (yes, this one was invented out of necessity for Pentecost not spanning a half a year) a time for praise and thanksgiving for all that God has given us. We live these seasons in our lives and our churches regardless of the actual liturgical season we are in. And the scripture texts for each season give me the language through which to identify where I am at on the journey and where I am called to move toward.