I was blessed to spend a couple hours with our new pastor, Sarah, on Wednesday, touring her around Eugene and getting to know her. We went downtown, to campus, to the top of Skinner’s Butte (photo below), and ended at Sweet Life Patisserie. I figured she needed a few more reasons to love Eugene than just Bethesda. 🙂

Just a quick side note: Ever since the very start of the call process, I had this feeling we would end up with a female pastor. I had figured out that at least one candidate was a woman because Tom shared that a candidate “adored” the website. What man says “adored?” And she had made a comment on my first blog when the website launched, and when I read it, I just had a feeling she was the same “adorer”.

So since Sarah’s come, I’ve been wanting to get to know her and I invited her on this tour to do just that. Here’s what I learned in our short time together:

  • She’s a mom, just like me, that struggles with being a mom, a wife, and also her job (just like me.)
  • She has “bad mom” moments (just like me) and fights with her husband (just like me.)
  • She is not bold in all situations, and longs for close friends she can be completely free with (just like me!)
  • She is more private about her faith (just like me) than some might expect given that she’s a pastor. She prefers one on one encounters rather than more evangelical ways. (Just like me.)
  • She is really easy to talk to and in a very short time, I found myself “adoring” her.

I just wanted to share my experience for one very simple reason. So many times, pastors seem unapproachable and beyond reproach and all of our pastors are just not like that. These are the kind of Christians we really can and should model. People just like us who want to do good in the world and share God’s word of love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, and grace because they need it, too. This is a “all of us together” kind of church now. Maybe part of it was my age, but I never felt that before. I never felt really included.

I think that’s pretty special…we have a unique and amazing pastoral team and they all fit so well together. It’s a prayer answered, in my opinion, for our church and a light for the path ahead, a path I am happy to walk down and tell others about. It’s really exciting!

Love & Thanks for Listening,

Deanna Rivera

P.S. Steve, if you are listening, I think you’re cool, too. You put my logo on a shirt for heavens sake! You sing like an angel! You know about computers! You’ll be 40, soon, too (someone to share my pain!)