Pastor. Writer. Preaching Coach.
Susan is a pastor who has served five churches in the United Church of Christ over the last four decades. Currently, she serves as Interim Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church in Appleton, Wisconsin, a congregation of 1450 members.
NEW BOOK: Susan and her wife, Peggy O'Connor, are writing a book about the heroic work of clergy in leading congregations through the COVID 19 pandemic. After interviewing 50 clergy from Boston to Anchorage, they collected stories of courage, compassion and commitment. They will share those stories along with the questions they heard from all the clergy about what this pandemic has meant for the future of organized religion.
Their book The Perpetual Pivot: Ministry in the Pandemic and Beyond, will be available in fall 2023 from Wipf and Stock and Amazon.
Few professionals have been as challenged or as creative as our clergy under the constraints of the pandemic. But the story of how clergy have met this moment with creativity and resilience has yet to be told.
Coach: A seasoned preacher with decades of experience using the Revised Lectionary, the Uncommon Lectionary as well as sermon themes, Susan is accepting applicants for coaching in preaching.
Sermon SOS: Susan is available to work with preachers who need some quick ideas in a crunch. She will help you find the message in the text for today's audience.
Sermon Schedule Development: Susan will also work with clergy to plan sermons that promote their message and teaching goals over time. This approach to preaching is most effective in reaching an audience and motivating them.
In her first book, UnCommon Preaching: An Alternative to the Lectionary (2015), Susan demonstrates how themes in preaching work to build congregation and teach biblical faith today.
In each of the churches she serves she has used her time in the pulpit to lead her congregations through times of spiritual and numerical growth. She has used her sermons to attract new families and guide those churches through a spiritual rejuvenation.
Susan has led a variety of workshops on preaching for clergy throughout New England and was a featured speaker at the Symposium for Preaching Excellence in Kansas City, sponsored by the United Methodist Church, Missouri Conference (2018). She has taught several classes on themes in scripture and Bible Moments that Changed History at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.