Press enter after choosing selection

Life Of Minister In Ann Arbor Is Full To Overflowing With Service

Life Of Minister In Ann Arbor Is Full To Overflowing With Service image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

Life Of Minister In Ann Arbor Is Full To Overflowing With Service

By June Patrick

(News Church Editor)

If you think you’re busy, take a look at one of Ann Arbors pastors.

The Rev. Henry B. Kuizenga, for instance. As pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, he ministers to the wants and needs of a congregation of some 2,000 members.

Considering his schedule you’d probably agree with current comment in popular magazines that a pastor’s energies are used to the full and his days overloaded with activities. For although schedules of other pastors might vary in arrangement, and involve larger or smaller religious institutions, the content would be similar.

Dr. Kuizenga describes his multiple role as preacher, pastor-counselor and executive-director. It seems all that, and more.

Works With Laymen

Among important tasks is work with laymen, and it is through such work the pastor believes he might accomplish a multiple purpose — enrichment of the community and of lives of members and more effective use of his own time and energies.

His time is occupied by a crowded schedule. A major part of a pastor’s calling, of course, is preaching.

To prepare a Sunday sermon of the quality he feels his congregation deserves requires study, Dr. Kuizenga explains. He tries to leave mornings free, Tuesday through Friday, to study, concentrate and write his sermons. And most of Saturday, he feels—when weddings are not scheduled—should be devoted to final improvements. He develops his sermons at home, in his study.

Frequently, however, other services take his attention. There may be personal problems of members the pastor may be called upon to officiate at a funeral or programs of various church groups may need his attention.

Attends Other Events

Other calls on his time are programs of the various organizations—men’s women’s couples and youth groups. In addition he is currently teaching a class in the Christian faith as part of the Christian education program of the church.

Other staff members participate in these duties and are just as busy, he points out. The Rev. George B. Laurent, assistant pastor, and Miss Marisa Keeney, director of Christian education, both have full schedules. Included, of course, are staff meetings for co-ordination and development.

These meetings usually come in the afternoon. After his mornings of study, Dr. Kuizenga works from his church office, accepting requests for marriage counseling and interviews, personal counseling and handling official correspondence.

Asks Participation

Service to the community and to the church would be enhanced, he feels, if lay members would assume greater responsibilities. He emphasizes the importance to the church, member and community of development of a high degree of participation.

Such participation is emphasized as stewardship—systematic giving of time, abilities and material possessions to benefit mankind—in the coming United Church Canvass, in which members will be urged to contribute financially to the church.

Part of such contributions pay for ministers’ service, of course, and Dr. Kuizenga believes the church would benefit from an additional pastor.

But he adds that a larger professional staff is not the best answer to the division of a minister’s time in so many directions.

A more valuable answer, he believes, is active assumption of many aspects of a pastor’s role—including pastoral calling—by lay members themselves. He emphasizes that benefit comes not only through work in the church, but participation in community tasks and application of Christian principles to them. His goal is community enrichment.

It is the “giving of time and abilities,” as well as money, stressed in stewardship programs of the United Canvass. It could also be called putting Christian principles to work.

Dr. Kuizenga calls it Christian service.

CHRISTIAN TEACHING: The Rev. Henry B. Kuizenga, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, discusses aspects of Christian faith with his class which meets each Wednesday. Teaching is one of the many services a pastor performs for his church.