CLARK, NJ: Kathy Genus has been active in ministry for over a decade, but when she leads worship at Osceola Presbyterian Church on Sunday, May 1st, it will be the first time she does so as the pastor of her own church.
“I am honored to be at Osceola, and joyfully look forward to the future of the opportunities to serve God, the Church and God’s people,” Genus said. “As we grow together my hope is that we may go out into the world and bring Jesus’ message of hope, peace and grace to God’s people exactly where they are. I believe in living our faith out loud within the world, loving each person the way that God has loved us. This is what I see as the call upon the church of the 21st century.”
“When we spoke with Kathy during the interview process, everyone on the committee felt an instant connection,” said Claudia Heffner, an Elder at Osceola Presbyterian Church who chaired the Pastor Nominating Committee. “We believe Kathy will energize our congregation the same way she energized us.”
In 2015, Osceola participated in the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s New Beginnings program, which helps congregations to look critically at themselves and plot a new course. As a result, church leaders made a commitment to learn more about their neighbors and tapped into the congregation’s passion for feeding people to expand Osceola’s Food Pantry. In addition to food baskets distributed at major holidays, Osceola now provides food assistance on a monthly basis to eight families referred by Jardine Academy in Cranford and the Linden Public School system.
“Our expanded food distributions have made a difference to the families we’re helping, but connecting with some of our neighbors has also made a difference in our congregation,” said Heffner, who is also a member of the Osceola Food Pantry team. “We’ve seen people volunteer to help out who haven’t been very active in church activities before.
Genus is already looking at ways to expand the reach of Osceola’s ministry further. Later this month, she plans to offer weekly prayer services using the live video streaming app Periscope. “Beginning May 17th, each Tuesday at 7am and Thursday at 7pm, if you sign up to follow me, you will receive a notification when I am ‘live.’ I will provide a video devotion and prayer. With Periscope, you can type in your prayer requests and I can respond to them,” Genus said.
Genus is a Certified Christian Educator who spent eight years as the Director of Christian Education at Westfield Presbyterian Church and four years in that same role for Trinity Presbyterian Church of East Brunswick. “I am eager to begin this journey with Osceola Presbyterian Church and see where God is taking us next,” Genus said. She has planned a series of “listening sessions” to get to know her new congregation during the month of May.
Osceola Presbyterian Church holds worship services at 10 a.m. every Sunday and is located at 1689 Raritan Road, Clark NJ 07066, right off the Garden State Parkway at Exit 136. For more information, call 908-276-5300 or visit osceolapresbyterianchurch.org. You can also find Osceola on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OsceolaNJ
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