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.
”Join us in welcoming Pastor Joy as she leads us in worship on March 17th.