Last week, we “sat down” (via email) with Rev. Rachel Pacheco, our new stated supply associate pastor, for a quick interview. Watch for an expanded version in the next version of AveNews!
How did you decide to become a pastor?
I participated in the Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer program where I gained tools for vocational discernment. I thought about what gives me energy and what I would do with my time if I could do whatever I wanted. I realized I enjoy talking with people about big questions and difficult questions. This is part of being a pastor: creating space for questions, wondering, searching, and walking with people through difficulty.
What do you enjoy about working with children & youth?
I enjoy encouraging young people to make their own observations, to be curious, and to think of their own answers to questions. This is one way we build our faith and our individual voices which is vital for young people who are often told what to think or believe. I also enjoy learning to explicitly include children and youth in worship so that we can practice worshipping together as one body.
How do you cultivate your personal faith?
Ever since my family began attending church when I was five years old, I have participated in worship through music. So, playing and singing is a significant way that I cultivate my faith and center myself, both in worship and on my own. Not being able to gather in congregational song has been such a loss for all people of faith, in part because we are not able to join our voices together at the same time in the same space. Making music together reminds me that I am not alone in this life of discipleship. It also helps me to pray and connect with God’s presence among us. In light of the pandemic, I am very fortunate to live with another musician! My roommate, Abby Madden, is currently the Minister of Music at Arlington Presbyterian Church.
How are you planning to spend your first weeks with us?
My first weeks will be focused on meeting you all, learning about your congregational culture, and working with the dedicated Christian Learning leaders to prepare for a new Sunday School year. My first week has already been full of fun and collaborative conversations.
Are there other parts of your job that you’re especially looking forward to?
I have heard many times that this church is full of committed people. I have already started to experience this and to understand what that means. I am really looking forward to hearing your stories and being partners in the work of the church. I am also excited to work with the Communications team. Communicating well has an impact on the ministry of any congregation, so I am glad to invest in this work.
What can we do to help you as you get started in your work?
Contact me! I will be reaching out to you all, especially once Sunday School is underway, but don’t hesitate to reach out. Start thinking about what you want me to know about you and about this community.
You can contact Rachel at Rachel.Pacheco@nyapc.org