New Bethel pastor

Bethel United Church of Christ in White Salmon has a new pastor: Laura Robinson (bottom center), posing with some of the children at Bethel on the Sunday in May when her appointment was ratified by congregational vote.

Rev. Laura Robinson will lead her first service as Bethel United Church of Christ’s new permanent pastor on Sunday, July 28, starting at 10 a.m. at the church on 480 East Jewett Blvd. in White Salmon (entrance on Pioneer Place).

Visitors are always welcome.

Robinson has Northwest roots. She grew up in Seattle (becoming a diehard Seahawks fan) and earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Whitman College, graduating in 2009. Thereafter she went to Candler School of Theology (associated with Emory University) in Atlanta, where she received her Master of Divinity degree in 2017. She was ordained in May 2018 and recently served as an Associate Minister in the Transitions into Ministry program at Plymouth UCC in Des Moines, Iowa.

Coming to Bethel UCC with an eclectic mix of work experience, Pastor Laura has been a legislative assistant, a wine tasting-room manager, and a wrangler on an Australian cattle station. She brings with her a deep passion for building caring and supportive community inside and outside the walls of the church.

Her strengths include pastoral care, spiritual direction, conflict mediation, and youth leadership. In addition, she has strong interests in enhancing racial and cultural diversity; addressing the challenges to our environment; and promoting interfaith dialogue, LGBTQ rights, and social justice.

Robinson’s gifts are an especially good fit for Bethel UCC—a Christian community that is open to insights from other faith traditions and one that is eager to work for greater peace and justice in our corner of the world by encouraging all of us to take on the challenges of loving all people in tangible ways as Jesus did.

Paster Robinson’s arrival marks the end of the interim pastorate at Bethel that was ably served by Rev. Andy Wade, following the departure of Bethel’s previous pastor, Rev. Kelly Ryan, in July 2018.

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