PASTOR’S COLUMN

 

July 2017

Greetings Sisters and Brothers in Christ!

I’m excited to be here with you in Petaluma. We’ll have many opportunities to get acquainted over the next many weeks, but I thought I’d take this space to briefly introduce myself.

My interests are varied and include such things as hiking and walking, exploring the surrounding areas, photography, writing, movies, books and reading, music, dancing, and travel. A few months ago, I began learning to play the Native American flute. This May I pursued a long-standing desire and was trained in Reiki healing (levels I&II). Most mornings you can find me out walking with my wife and our three dogs. I’m always open to a good discussion, preferably around a good meal or cup of coffee.

I have been an ordained minister since 1981. While I was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) my ministry has been very ecumenical. In addition to the Disciples, I have served United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ (UCC) pastorates. Most recently I have been Interim Pastor at Normandy Park UCC in the Seattle area. This was my sixth intentional interim position. I have also served as a campus minister.

Some highlights of my ministry include leading two VIM teams to Chile, leading student summer abroad groups to Denmark and the former USSR, leading a Peace Pilgrimage to the former USSR, and participating on mission and solidarity trips to Cuba and Central America.

My theological training was taken at the Pacific School of Religion and The Jesuit School of Theology, both part of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. My undergraduate degree is in photography and communications and I did additional graduate work in sociology during a sabbatical year in England. I am the author of the book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: A Practical Spirituality of Work.

My wife, the Rev. Monique-Cheri Pierre, is an elder in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, currently serving Forestville UMC, where we live in the parsonage. Monique-Cheri was born in Petaluma and spent her elementary years here before her family moved to San Francisco. Even though we went to the same high school we didn’t know each other until after college (it was a big high school and we were in different years), when I moved back to the city while working as a merchant marine.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you and to being in ministry together here at Petaluma UMC. Many blessings, Shalom,

Pastor Eric