Interim Pastor Bruce Schoup

The Advent, Christmas, Epiphany season in the life of a congregation is one of great joy.  It is all too busy and yet that busyness is invariably related to activities that bring a sparkle to the eye.

My own season will have an extra layer in it this year as I begin the process of packing for an anticipated move to your community to serve as your Intentional Interim pastor.

I will be coming from Clemson, SC where I have been serving for the past two years as the pastor of an “alternative model” congregation.  This has been an active period as ministry has led me into engagement with Clemson University, race relations, building a Tiny House which will be a Safe House, worship in the out of doors, and helping Peace Church develop an emerging church model.  The most meaningful development is the Tiny House Project:  LGBTQ+ Safe House.  The most fun has been developing and leading 2nd Sunday experiences (spiritual encounters with the out-of-doors).

In recent years, I have served as an Intentional Interim in Schleswig, Iowa.  Served as the Director of Spiritual Life at Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon.  Been an Intentional Interim in St. Louis; Poughkeepsie, NY; and Westfield, MA.  Served as a settled pastor in Lebanon, PA; Steinauer/Tecumseh, NE; and Bowers/New Jerusalem, PA.  Somewhere in there, I took a year to volunteer as Theological Professor at Peki Seminary in Ghana and a year as a volunteer at Bethany Children’s Home in PA.  My next adventure—Littleton.

Traveling with me is a cat, named Gracie.  She is a love.

I bring several gifts with me into Intentional Interim work.  Unlike most Interims, I move into the community that I serve and intentionally become a part of the whole community.  Secondly, I engage in the life of the congregation that I serve—meetings, visitation, worship, office and often simply “hanging out” with people.  Third, I love engaging with ministry and helping a congregation to engage with ministry.  Fourth, I love finding ways of being innovative—how can we approach the familiar with a fresh perspective?  Fifth, I like asking questions like:  Why are we doing this?  What is the purpose?  Do we keep doing this, or is it time to make a change?  In and around all of this is a passion for Jesus of Nazareth.  I am his disciple and I like him!  We are called to be his body and life!

I tend to jump in feet first with congregations that I serve.  Total immersion.  I never quite know what will emerge as every faith community is unique.  In and through it all, the joy of living life together.

Back to a more personal note……I love to travel; often blending travels with spiritual/religious development.  For instance, last summer I walked part of the Pilgrim’s Way in England and then went Champing (camping in cathedrals).  This summer is still in development, but I hope to spend part of the time on Cyprus (think St. Paul) with a possible side trip to Patmos (think the Book of Revelation).

I am looking forward to meeting with and working with the staff, congregational leadership, and all the members and friends of CCOL.

 

Grace and Peace,

 

Pastor Bruce