TRANSITION ON THE HILL

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Rev. Julie Thompson

 

The Presbyterian Church on the Hill is very pleased that the Reverend Julie Thompson has become our Transitional Pastor. 

 

Biographical Information Provided by Rev. Julie Thompson

I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and spent my early years in southern Connecticut, Northern Virginia and Pittsburgh. I was born to Boston Irish Catholic parents who became Episcopalian in my nursery school years. My four younger siblings and I were raised in Episcopal congregations, where we were active in Sunday School, youth choir, youth group, and confirmation and my parents were both lay leaders serving on the vestry. While a student at Miami University (Ohio) I worshipped at Episcopal, Methodist and non-denominational churches. It wasn’t until my senior year that I met the Presbyterians, when I was asked to help lead a group for college students who worshipped at a church on the edge of campus. After graduation I worked in campus ministry at a Presbyterian congregation in Pittsburgh (Shadyside) and decided to become a member. While there I began my studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and finished my degree little by little.

I have spent the past 30+ years in ministry in churches, campus ministries, and camps, serving Presbyterian congregations ranging from 80 to 2800 members in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, South Carolina, Georgia, and New Jersey (Red Bank). I also have a brief stint as a hospice chaplain, learning valuable lessons about the grieving process. Many of my positions included work with youth and young families, and training and equipping people for leadership. I have served in both installed and temporary positions, and find that I am best suited for transitional roles. I love seeing congregations experience new life and open themselves to new possibilities during transitional ministry.

Two years ago, my family moved from Philadelphia to this area when I began serving as associate pastor at Tower Hill Church in Red Bank. Recent changes in my own family remind me of the continual changes in church families. This is one of the reasons that interim pastors have begun using the word “transitional” in their titles. While we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, we are always changing, and can grow in new ways during times of transition. We will be reminded of this as we worship, learn and serve together as the Body of Christ. We will also have an opportunity to do some “transition work” together, devoting some time to strengthening the relationships among ourselves, with our neighbors, and with our denomination. We will explore some questions together about who PCOH has been, who it is now, and who God is calling it to be in the future.