Reverend Jerrie Shepard Matney began as interim pastor on October 15, 2018.
From Your Temporary Shepard ~
Greetings to all you good folks!
I used to title this intro. column, “Everything you wanted to know about your Interim Pastor but were afraid to ask.” However, that expression is pretty outdated now, so I’ve changed it to “Ten Fun Facts About Your Interim Pastor”. I’m not really sure how fun the facts are, but it seems to be a good way to tell you about me. So here goes……
I was born and grew up in Cooperstown, NY, home of baseball and James Fenimore Cooper. My father owned a book store so I blame/credit him for my love of books. My mother was a social worker, then a museum guide. I channel her when I’m doing historic tours in Storrowtown during the Big E.
I graduated from Hiram College, Western Kentucky University and Andover Newton Theological School. Andover Newton (ANTS) has recently relocated to Yale, to the sadness of many. The “Hill” was a special place for us all as we prepared for various kinds of ministry.
I’ve served as an associate pastor, co-pastor, and then as settled pastor for 12 years at a church in western NY. Since I left there in 1995, I’ve been doing interim ministry in NY, Conn., and Mass. CBC is my 14th interim. Don’t be impressed by this – every church is different and has its own story, culture, joys, and challenges.
After living in parsonages for 30+ years (and moving with almost every interim), I took the plunge and purchased my own house in 2009. It’s a cute little cape in Chicopee and I can’t believe I’ve been there for 9 years already! I love the house, my gardens, and the neighborhood. And I love making my own decisions (can I paint the living room, move that flower bed, hang this big picture here? YES, I can!) But dealing with repair people myself, and of course, paying the bills, has been a challenge. No more picking up the phone and calling the Trustees!
My kitty Scarlett shares my house with me, or I share with her, not sure which it is. She’s an indoor cat and her favorite activity in nice weather is lying by the screen door and catching the sun and the breeze. She also enjoys the kids, squirrels, and birds in the front yard.
My grandsons, Ben (4) and Luke (2) live in Plymouth with my son and daughter-in-law. They are, of course, the most wonderful boys ever born, and I don’t see them nearly enough. You’ll see their pictures in the office, along with some other special “church kids”.
I love what I do, even after 38 years. Of course, there are bad days, and plenty of ups and downs. But I think being with people in the best and worst times of their lives is a real blessing – and no two days are the same.
My favorite Bible verses are Philippians 4:13 (NT) and Jeremiah 29:11 (OT). My favorite hymn is not in your hymnbook, but my second favorite is “Great is thy Faithfulness”.
Speaking of the office, it’s almost put together, so feel free to stop by. Many thanks to those who have helped me move in and get settled! You’ll see some of my sheep collection and also plates from former churches and schools. (Does CBC have a plate or mug for my collection?)
Coffee, chocolate, and lobster are at the top of my favorite foods list. The chocolate cake for coffee hour last Sunday was a real treat. Thanks!
Wow! That really is ten things! I am delighted to be here and look forward to working together with you for the next few months. Please be patient as I get to know you.