Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Suzanne Burris

Greetings! Welcome to Congregational United Church of Christ of Mitchell.

My legal title is the Rev. Dr. Suzanne B. Burris but I have found that “Pastor Sue” works best. I am the half-time interim pastor at the Congregational UCC.

I have been a professional interim minister specialist since 1985. While I have been an associate pastor (in Yankton back in 1990-93), hospital chaplain and campus minister (USD 1994-1998), the majority of my parish work as been helping congregations through the interim time. I believe this will be the 9th parish I have served in this capacity. Interim work is a “John the Baptist” kind of ministry in that it is my job to help the congregation through a time of change and healing to prepare the way to receive new pastoral leadership and to do so with a renewed sense of mission and purpose.

I am reminded of Adam Hamilton’s thoughts in his book, The Journey. He points out that traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem in the last weeks of her pregnancy was not a journey Mary wanted to take nor was it to be the last. She and Joseph and their young child would be forced to flee to Egypt as refugees. Then, some 30 years later, Mary would follow her son down the Via Dolorosa to his crucifixion. All of us take unwanted journeys at some point in our lives, “but the good news of Scripture is that God not only walks with us on these journeys, God redeems them and brings good from them.” The Bible is filled with such redemptive stories…Joseph being sold into slavery and taken down to Egypt; David fleeing King Saul’s wrath by staying a couple of years among the Philistines (Israel’s enemies); Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego on the way to face a fiery furnace; the people of Judah taken into exile in Babylon.. All were unwanted journeys, but the difficult journeys are never the end of the story. The Spirit of the Living Christ is always at work in our midst helping us create new possibilities of service and discipleship.

I hope you enjoy exploring our Congregational United Church of Christ website, and I hope you will join us for worship!