After a summer long search by the Personnel Committee, on August 18, the Session approved Rev. Dr. Heather Shortlidge to be the Transitional Pastor (Interim Pastor) for the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. She will begin on September 17 with her first Sunday on September 22, 2019. She brings experience working in large and complex churches, attention to detail with well thought out questions, and a call to the prophetic ways that the church can tangibly show up as an ally and a friend for those in the deepest physical and spiritual need.
The Rev. Dr. Heather Shortlidge comes to us from First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, where she has served as the Associate Pastor for the past twelve years. For the past year and a half, the congregation has been in the midst of transition, figuring out a way forward after a long-term Head of Staff/Senior Pastor retired in May 2018. Heather served as the Acting Head of Staff for five months and then continued in her role as the Associate Pastor once a Transitional Pastor was called. She’s excited to help lead New York Avenue during this time of discernment and transition.
Heather has a few connections to our congregation. Last fall, she officiated at the funeral of long time New York Avenue member, Ralph Reeder, at which Roger Gench was also invited to participate. Prior to that, she helped supervise and develop previous Interim Associate Pastor, Katie Cashwell, who did a yearlong seminary internship at First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis. And way before that, she had the privilege of studying New Testament with Frances Taylor Gench while in seminary.
Heather earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond, her Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and her Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary in Chicago.
Before Annapolis, Heather served as the Associate Pastor of Rivermont Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, TN. And before that, she served as a pediatric hospital chaplain at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
She’s a certified yoga instructor and volunteers as a puppy raiser for FIDOS for Freedom, an organization that trains assistance dogs. She’s currently raising her seventh puppy, a black Lab named Newman, who will be returned at the beginning of September. Heather lives with her partner, John, near the water in Annapolis. Her immediate family lives in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Colorado.
Stay tuned for the Avenue News article about Pastor Heather coming soon in September!