Interim Pastor

Rev. Dr. Mary Catherine Miller

Rev. Dr. Mary Catherine Miller is our Interim Pastor for Sunday morning traditional (liturgical) and contemporary (SonSpirit) worship services. She also provides oversight, leadership, and vision for the church, which will culminate in the appointment of a new pastor by the bishop.

If you have a pastoral concern, you may contact Mary Catherine by calling 302-368-8774 Mon.–Fri. during regular business hours. If you’d simply like to send her a message that is not sensitive in nature, contact us.  Pastor Mary will be offering office hours on Wednesdays from 10 am – 2 pm.  Please call in advance.

About the Pastor

Mary Catherine is an ordained elder out of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, who has served as an intentional interim pastor in several churches in the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference.   Prior to entering ministry, Mary Catherine served in the United States Army and taught in the Philadelphia Public School System. She grew up in Towanda, Pa., and is the middle of five children. She holds degrees from Penn State University, Temple Beasley School of Law, and Wesley Theological Seminary. Her doctoral studies took her to Wesley House in Cambridge, England, where she had the privilege of studying with an ecumenical, multi-racial, and multi-ethnic group of fellow minister/students.

In her spare time, she enjoys attending an occasional professional baseball game, watching Penn State football, keeping track of her fantasy football team, traveling to new places, and meeting new people.

A Metaphor for Transitional Intentional Ministry (TIIM)

TIIMS have been trained and are ecclesiastically affirmed by the United Methodist Endorsing

Agency (UMEA) to serve in those times when a congregation needs to stop, take a deep breath, and to consider how God has been at work in their midst in the past, is at work in their present ministries and life together, and is calling and equipping them to be church in the future. My primary analogy for the ministry I do in such times is “cover crop.”

“Cover crop” serves many purposes. One is to protect the farm field from the erosive forces of the winter rain, snow and wind. Like “cover crop,” part of my ministry as a TIIMS is to encourage church members to remember how the blanket of God’s love and grace is constantly covering the church community holding the fertile soil of faith found there in place. Such knowledge can and does offer each and every person the reassurance that God has not finished with any of us yet. This affirmation in a season that may seem cold, wet, grey, and dark allows the love and grace that is already planted within the church community to continue to take root, grow, and bear fruit instead of being eroded away by the fear and doubt that can be born of the uncertain times that transitions bring.

“Cover crop” also absorbs the chemicals that remain in the soil from the previous growing season so that they do not leech out into the ground water and from there, into wells or other local bodies of water. Sometimes there are beliefs and practices in the local church’s history, recent and/or distant, that if permitted to remain would continue to inhibit the ministry and spiritual growth of the church members. These may be past conflicts or trauma or pastoral/laity misconduct. These may include traditions that have lost their effectiveness. They may include grief. They may include idols. As a TIIMS I have the opportunity to help the church unearth and address these toxins by leading it to prayerfully discern and implement steps it can take to identify and neutralize the toxins in the soil thereby stopping the toxins from influencing and potentially harming the life, faith and ministry of the community any further. With that which tears down acknowledged and addressed, the church is then able to begin to see the sunlight and warmth of a new season approaching, a season in which they can see the potential for the new thing God is doing and begin to plan and act accordingly.

“Cover crop” does not stay on the fields any longer than it is needed. When the time comes, it is harvested, worked back into the soil to provide nourishment for the next growing season or allowed to go to seed to be used as cover crop once more in the next season of winter. Having served its purpose, the ground protected, cleansed and nourished, a new season of ploughing and planting and growing and fruit-bearing begins.

TIIMS-time offers opportunity for spiritual renewal and growth in a congregation. This spiritual renewal of the church members becomes a part of the soil, nourishing it. At the pre-appointed time, having accompanied the congregation as it intentionally sought to discern and embrace how God had worked in its past, was working in its present and is calling the congregation into being in its future, the TIIMS, knowing full well that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” says farewell and takes her leave.