Written by Linda Portney Goldstein, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 12 July 2013 00:00
Eldon Simpson, who has served as Pastor of the United Methodist Church of Port Washington for the last eight years, says he is looking forward to living in a house he owns for the first time in his adult life.
Pastor Simpson has been a Methodist minister for 41 years, and during that time his family has always lived in a church parsonage owned by the congregation which he served. Simpson is retiring to New Hampshire and, although he will miss his congregation, he believes “life is like a Ferris wheel there is a time to get on and a time to get off. I have reached the time to get off”.
Simpson said when he came to the church the building was in disrepair; there had been persistent financial problems and a general lack of spirituality amongst the members. Simpson believes he is leaving a congregation that is vibrant and engaged in the moral fiber of our community. He has overseen the improvement of the church building and helped to restore finances to a healthy footing. “The church is ready to move forward under new leadership.”
The new voice belongs to Pastor Laurel Scott, who comes to Port Washington after serving several congregations since 1999. Scott realized she had a “calling “ for the ministry after a 20 year career as a social worker in New York and has never regretted her decision to change the path of her life.
Although she is a native of Barbados who came to the United States in 1974, she is happy to be returning to a location near New York City, which she loves. Her most recent posting was in Connecticut with a congregation of approximately 800 families. The size is very similar to that of the church in Port Washington. Scott says that like most churches, Sunday services see only modest attendance but that this is an active socially aware congregation.
It has been 50 years since the Methodist church began ordaining women pastors, but from the beginning women have been able to preach and comfort congregants. She intends to use the pulpit to encourage her flock to be active in the local community.
Although Scott is already hard at work, her formal welcome ceremony is scheduled for September.