Our new Interim Pastor Joy Smith comes to us from St. Paul, Minnesota, overlooking the mighty Mississippi with her husband, Chuck Paulson, a biology professor at Century College in Minneapolis.
Her two children have left the nest:
- Hunter, who is living in Seattle and
- Kaden, living in Madison.
She is devoted to her dog, Zack, who will be coming to Alma with her. Zack is a Great Pyrenees mix, so is a gentle giant. Joy is originally from Georgia so has a hint of a southern accent.
She began her college education in South Carolina, graduating with a BS in Psychology and moved on to Union Theological Seminary in Virginia graduating with a Masters of Christian Education. From there she graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia with a Masters of Divinity. Other post-graduate education includes Interim/Transitional Ministry Training, Clinical Pastoral Education, and Pastoral Counseling Fellowship. She is a strong proponent of continuing education and has studied a variety of topics including racial equity, family systems, and the role of ministry in a changing world.
She has made three pilgrimages to Israel/Palestine, the most recent being January of this year. We asked her to take a lot of pictures, and she is looking forward to being our travel guide at a Second Sunday luncheon. This picture is of Pastor Joy on the Sea of Galilee.
She has been a Pastor in Jacksonville, Florida, Baker, Minnesota and Burnsville, Minnesota; an Associate Pastor in Lake Forest, Illinois, Tucson, Arizona; and an Interim Pastor in Tucson, Arizona, Jacksonville, Florida, Yulee, Florida, and St. Paul, Minnesota. She also served as Grant Coordinator/Adjunct Instructor at Concordia College in Morehead, Minnesota.
One of her references, Reverend Dr. Sue Westfall, told us, “Joy is a seasoned pastor with years of successful experience in a variety of settings. She is compassionate, a visionary, caring, and communicative. She is a leader with a good track record of being an activist who can help mobilize a church to pursue their vision. She is an excellent preacher, a good listener. She is progressive but is very respectful of others when they are more traditional. She knows she has to educate, dialog, and be nonjudgmental. She is discreet.