St. Paul's Lutheran Church

The Grace and Mercy of God Overcomes All

John 14:6- Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me."

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St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 7412 South Broaday, Red Hook, NY 12571, Phone: 845-758-0151

WE ARE A SISTER CHURCH OF THE LUTHERAN PARISH OF NORTHERN DUTCHESS

http://lutheranparishnortherndutchess.org/Home_Page.html

Rev. 11/11/17

LUTHERAN PARISH OF NORTHERN DUTCHESS CALLS NEW MINISTER

LUTHERAN PARISH OF NORTHERN DUTCHESS CALLS NEW MINISTER

By Karla R. Cook

On March 26, the LPND called Pastor James Miller as the minister of the three-church parish (Memorial Lutheran, Rock City; St. Paul’s Lutheran, Red Hook; and Third Lutheran, Rhinebeck. He has served as the parish vicar since September 2016. Pastor Jim’s ordination, with Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo, of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), presiding, took place at Third Lutheran on May 20.

“Circuit Pastor Jim,” as the new minister likes to be called, says he has always felt the call to ministry, beginning when he was still a child. However, he didn’t follow the call until approximately six years ago. 

 Pastor Jim, a native of a small town in Niagara County, near Buffalo, N.Y., attended Indiana University, where he majored in music. While a student there, he was invited to sing in a Lutheran Church Choir and became a member of the Lutheran church because he liked the liturgical services and the Lutherans’ understanding of grace.

 After college, he was the Principal Trumpet in the San Francisco Opera orchestra. Later, he decided to put his music career on hold to become a “stay at home dad” to his two twin sons, both now 28 with promising careers. In the late 1980s, the family moved to Westchester County and Pastor Jim bought and operated a bookstore for ten years, thinking that the flexible hours would allow him the time to be there for his sons when needed. As his sons grew, both became interested in learning music, so Pastor Jim returned to his music roots and taught the boys music. Soon, their friends asked, “Who is your teacher?” and he began offering lessons to their friends and peers. When he had no time for the bookstore, he sold it, and soon joined a church choir and orchestra.

His wife, Holly, also a musician and a music therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, asked him one day what he really wanted to do for the rest of his life. Pastor Jim replied that he wanted to serve the church, and his wife suggested he attend seminary.

“I entered the Call Process in 2011, entered General Theological Seminary in New York City, in 2012, graduated May 2015, studied at Luther Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and did my internship in 2016,” Pastor Jim said. He also served as chaplain at Sloan Kettering and at Lutheran hospitals.

He and his wife like to attend the Sheep and Wool Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and visit Rhinebeck every year. Two years ago, they drove past Memorial Lutheran Church in Rock City, and they noticed the three services listed on the sign in front of the church. “I wondered,” he recalled saying to his wife, “what it would like to be the preacher of this church.”

Not long after that, he received a call from Bishop Rimbo’s office about the vacancy for minister at the Lutheran Parish of Northern Dutchess. “You might like it,” the Bishop said.

The new minister says he more than likes the parish. “It is great!”

The people of the parish remind him of his upbringing in a small town in Upstate New York, where everyone knew everyone. Pastor Jim thinks his journey to the ministry of the parish is more than just coincidence. Because of his many years of experience owning and operating a bookstore and as a church musician, he says he has the people skills to become a good shepherd to his flock. Some people have asked how he does three services a Sunday, Pastor Jim said, but “I see it as getting to celebrate the Eucharist three times a Sunday.”

Pastor Jim thinks that being a people person is crucial in the ministry. “Don’t get me wrong, theology is important, but I want to talk to you about what Jesus has done. We are all saved by grace,” he said, “and we are called to be good to people. The best motivation is Jesus.”

His goals for the parish are to grow each of the three churches and make sure they are healthy. “I want the members to truly feel the presence of Jesus in their daily lives,” he said.

“Circuit Pastor Jim” can be reached by calling 914-441-4360 or emailing him at CircuitPastorJim@aol.com. Services are Sundays at Memorial Lutheran, Rock City, at 8:30 a.m., Third Lutheran, Rhinebeck, at 9:45 a.m., and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Hook, at 11:00 a.m. Everyone is welcomed to attend. More information about the parish can be found on its website, http://www.lutheranparishnortherndutchess.org, and its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LutheranParishNorthernDutchess.

 

FYI

Please note that St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Hook, N.Y., receives no income from the ads displayed on our web site. The  ads were placed by our host, freewebs.com. We express our gratitude to freewebs.com for letting us use this web space free-of-charge in exchange for its advertising. The content of the advertising does not necessarily reflect the views of St. Paul’s or of its staff or members, or that of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America..