Rev. Dr. Paul Anderson Day ‘Bridge Pastor’
June 1, 2021
I have been called to serve as your Bridge Pastor for the next few months. You may be asking, “What’s a Bridge Pastor”?
According to the Maine Conference, U.C.C., a Bridge Pastor is “a temporary pastor who steps in while a congregation is deciding what path they will take to fill a pastoral vacancy, or for reasons of timing before an intentional interim minister or settled minister can begin.”
In one sense, all pastoral ministry is temporary—even for settled pastors. The “Bridge Pastor” designation has to do with time frame – usually a few months at most – and expectations. For example, an “Intentional Interim Pastor” usually has special training and skills for preparing and leading a congregation during the search process.
So, what can you expect from me? I will be planning and leading Sunday worship services and presenting the sermon – with the exception of June 6 & 27 for which I have previous commitments. I will also lead a weekly Bible study either in person or on Zoom, and if there is interest, a weekly prayer time on Zoom. I will be available to give counsel to the church lay leadership and I will be available for pastoral care as needed.
In another sense, all pastoral ministry is Bridge ministry. In fact, the Latin word for a priest is pontifex – a compound word that literally means “bridge-builder.” It referred to the priest’s work to build a bridge between people and the gods. In the same way, pastors work to help people in their relationship with God in spiritual growth and discipleship. Pastors also work to build bridges within the congregation and in the community.
Now a little personal information: My wife, Diana, and I live in Portland with our rescue cat and dog; we have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. Diana is a retired teacher. I was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. I am ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church and hold dual standing in the United Church of Christ. I have been in pastoral ministry for 44 years, having served congregations in Michigan, Washington state, Massachusetts, and Maine. I also served as Executive Director of the Bible Society of Maine. I have taught at several schools, including the University of New England and, most recently, the Maine School of Ministry. I have served on the board and as a volunteer ship’s visitor for the New England Seafarers Mission.
I look forward to getting to know you and serving with you for the next few months.
Grace and peace,