Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Nugget, May 05

From the end spring new beginnings.
-Pliny the Elder

As your new Interim Pastor, I look forward with great anticipation to being with you. My first Sunday will be May 8, although I will actually begin my ministry with you the Monday before that.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I have been doing Transitional (aka Interim) Ministry for 8 years, and settled ministry for many years before that. My life partner Cindy and I have been together since we were very young, and have one grown son who lives in San Francisco and works in Information Security (read: computer geek). I am a native Californian, and enjoy skiing, playing racquetball, and traveling to see family up and down the West Coast. I am also a movie buff, enjoy reading, and love to use technology and multimedia to the best advantage of the church.

Eight years ago Cindy and I built our home up the hill a ways, in Dorrington. As an Interim Minister my work has taken me to different places -- usually around Northern California -- and our time at our home has been sporadic at best. But Dorrington has still been home to us and we have returned as often as possible, always reluctant to leave when commitments require us to go back down the hill. So it will be a special joy to live at home for the time we are with you.

As your Interim minister, I will serve you in every way that a Pastor normally serves a congregation, but with two unique differences. One, my work with you will be for a limited period of time – determined by the time it takes the Search Committee to find a permanent Pastor. Which is to say we need to keep the end of our time together in sight from the very beginning. And two, my focus will include helping the church get ready for the next Pastor. Which means I will be something like John the Baptist, who was said to be ”the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way… make [the] paths straight’.”

My commitment to the church – and the church’s commitment to me – is initially for 6 months, although we understand that it may be necessary to extend that, should we each choose to do so, and should the search process go at anything less than supersonic speed.

Each month I will share with you my thoughts in this column that I will call “The Shepard’s Crook.” I am trying something new (for me anyway) and will also make this column part of a blog (internet web log -- which you have obviously found if you are reading this!).

I want to say a big thank you to the leaders of the church for the confidence they have shown in me by inviting me to be your Pastor during this in-between time. Pastor John’s 10 years with you have brought the church to a new level of growth and stability. I accept the challenge of building on the strengths of this congregation and invite each of you to join me in making this transition time an opportunity to move to yet another level. It is a very fertile time in the life of MFCC. Let’s make the most of it!

Steve Shepard
Interim Pastor

Monday, April 11, 2005


This is the initial post to this blog. Welcome to friends, family, visitors, colleagues, antagonists and all others! Here you will find my articles from the church newsletter, as well as other periodic posts on a variety of topics, from church to film, from current events to family.

My hope is that this blog will be a place stimulating reading, civil discussion and honest sharing. You are welcome to offer whatever thoughts you might have in response. Thanks for visiting.

[NOTE regarding the history of "The Shepard's Crook": The first two years of this blog were written when I was the pastor of a local church and the posts reflect that perspective. Since December of 2007, however, it has been a family blog, and the concern has been the family of Will and Bura Davis Shepard.]