I'm Glad to Be Here, by Pamela J. Pettyjohn, Associate Minister
I’ve known Doug for quite some time, and through him and Linda Jo Jones, as well as Paige Gottlieb, I’ve known of Jeffersontown Christian Church as well. And I’m so excited for the opportunity to serve God with this wonderful congregation! I’m also grateful for all the warm words of welcome, both in person and in cards and notes. It always feels good to be welcomed and appreciated! Thank you!!! And to those of you who I have not met yet, I look forward to doing so!
We have a lot of change coming with Doug’s impending retirement, I know! Change can be very scary and uncomfortable. But if we trust that God is with us every step of the way, commit ourselves to prayer, and have open hearts, listening for the speaking of The Spirit, it can also be a time of excitement and new blessings. I believe very strongly that Doug has helped us build a firm foundation upon which to continue the work of bearing the Good News of Jesus Christ!
I grew up in a very conservative Baptist congregation, where my gifts for ministry were denied because of my gender. It was such a joy to discover The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with our emphasis on being a place of welcome, where all people are valued. We have not always lived into that perfectly, being the fallible humans that we are. But, as a denomination, we are always striving to look for new ways to “extend the Table” of love and grace to those who have previously felt excluded and marginalized. I’m so blessed to be able to be a minister in this denomination!
My experience at being one of those people who was previously excluded informs my ministry, giving me a burning desire to make sure that doesn’t happen to other people. There have been so many people traumatized by their church experiences, and this should just not happen in the name of Jesus! Many of them fear stepping inside another church building, while some are seeking an open, loving congregation where they can connect with others and not be hurt, but they don’t know where to go.
Jeffersontown Christian Church IS one of those places that serve as an oasis from the hate and judgement spewed by too many churches today. I look forward to working with the leadership to help get the word out, so that those who most need us may know we exist! I am passionate about the ability of the church to truly be the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting world. After all, we, as Disciples, are a Movement for Wholeness in a Fragmented World… Shalom!
Posted on Tue, May 14, 2019
by Doug Meister