Dear WPC family,
It is a delight to finally be among you in the worship and ministry of WPC! In recent weeks I have been praying over the pages of the church directory, familiarizing myself with your names and surrounding our common ministry with holy intention. Thank you for the warm welcome you have extended to me as I begin serving as your Part Time Associate Pastor.
It may be helpful for you to know a bit of my life and faith journey. I grew up in Puyallup, and I was baptized at age two at First Presbyterian Church Puyallup. I am grateful that the people of that church fulfilled the vows they made upon my baptism by loving me and teaching me about the grace of the God made known in Jesus Christ. After high school I earned several degrees and married a kind man named Cris Johnson. We moved to Olympia and joined WPC in 1995. Our spiritual formation flourished here, and we raised our children Spencer and Mari in this church.
To my great surprise and with the support of WPC, over a number of years I discerned a call to ordained ministry. So when both my children had entered grade school, I returned to school as well! I graduated from the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry in 2014 and was ordained soon after. Since then I have pastored churches in Lakewood and Fircrest, and I am honored to continue my ministry here among all of you.
As I embark on this new position, I have an ambitious job description that focuses on the areas of ministry that I most enjoy: supporting congregational life, spiritual nurture, and mission. My initial focus will be getting to know you and learning about the many ministries taking place at WPC. I’ll be calling and emailing some of you, attending many meetings, taking notes, and immersing myself in learning.
I’ll also make every effort to assist Pastor Therin in her leadership, to honor her presence as she brings her ministry among you to a close, and to support WPC in its pastoral transition. I am confident that WPC will embrace this change with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love, and I’ll be alongside you whatever the journey brings.
As you are aware, I hope to meet some of you at the “cookies and conversation” gatherings that have been previously advertised. To begin, my office time at WPC will ordinarily be Sundays through mid-afternoon, as well as Monday-Wednesday from about 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. These times will be flexible based on church needs and schedules. I invite you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at the church.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can be present for you in any way!
With great care,
Rev. Julie Scheer Johnson
P.S. Several people requested the ginger cookie recipe that I mentioned. Here it is!
2.5 cups flour (both white and whole wheat)
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
.5 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup brown sugar
.5 cup shortening
.25 cup butter
.5 cup molasses
.5 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
White sugar or powdered sugar for rolling
Heat oven to 350.
Combine flour, powdered ginger, soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt and cayenne (if using), set aside.
Cream brown sugar, shortening and butter until fluffy.
Add egg and molasses and beat until blended.
Add flour mixture just until blended.
Gently stir in crystallized ginger and fresh ginger.
Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Shape dough in 1-inch balls and roll in sugar and place on baking sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Check at 8 minutes. Cookies will be soft. Do not overbake!