Years ago Judy Paulsen posed it to the good folk at Christ Memorial Church in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and when too many people hesitated, the congregation took on a challenge that has reinvigorated the church.
Judy Paulsen is an incredibly gifted pastor whose natural ability to listen and lead is a model to us all. Her commitment and wisdom will inspire you.
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Reading Rick Rusaw’s book, The Externally Focused Church, had quite an affect on Judy Paulsen. She says it helped motivate her to help her congregation reach out like never before. Now, with 3 Sunday services, and an intriguing Saturday morning outreach, her church has seen dramatic change over the last 9 years. Here are my notes from the interview:
Looking For Partnerships
Judy helped her church draw a 2km line around the church and begin to make contact with her neighbors. The congregation found 2 schools and a hospital, which are now in fruitful partnerships with the church.
If you’ve not heard of this British adaptation to community outreach to young families, you need to look into it. Messy Church is a Christian Gymboree (if that helps) that combines crafts, song, play, and a meal in a totally intergenerational environment. Check it out here.
Keep, Adapt, Scrap
These are the three categories established churches must use to sift through their inheritance – and what Judy did to decide what was essential, worthy of changing, and tossing out.
About Judy Paulsen
Judy has served as pastor of Christ Memorial Church in Oshawa, on the outskirts of Toronto, Canada since 2003. She grew up in a large family and spent her early childhood in northwest India, where her parents were Anglican missionaries. She holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario, McGill University, Wycliffe College, and is presently completing a Doctor of Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. Judy worked as a speech and language pathologist before seeking ordained ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada. She has since served three parishes in the Diocese of Toronto. Judy is married to Pat, and they have three children. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and playing the fiddle.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest Episcopal Seminary in the U.S., forming men and women for leadership in the church. In addition to the MDiv, Anglican Studies and DMin degrees are their Masters of Arts degrees with a fous on Theological Studies, Christian Formation, Religion & Culture, and Biblical Interpretation. Check them out at vts.edu.