Introduction to Sharon Arendshorst, Sabbatical Pastoral Care

Tom and I joined Hope Church in 2009 following my retirement as a RCA Specialized Interim Minister (SIM). I attended Western Theological Seminary in the 1990s with a desire to dig more deeply into the scriptures. To my surprise and by God’s hidden design, I graduated six years later with a M.Div. degree, and felt called to pastoral ministry. I discovered interim ministry to be a match for my gifts. I’ve served five churches in the Holland Classis as their pastor, coming alongside them during times of transition and discerning together God’s call for their futures.

Tom and I lived in Nairobi, Kenya for six months in 2005 as a part of his peace studies. I preached at the Kenyan Evangelical Lutheran Church while their pastor was on home leave and worked with Amani Peoples’ Theater (APT). APT used drama and the arts in communities to help address conflict. When we returned to Holland, I entered WTS again to explore how to incorporate the learnings from APT into my work as an interim minister with churches in transition and frequently experiencing conflict. At my last church, I even had the consistory role-playing and dancing!

I am humbled to have been elected an elder at Hope Church and to have been asked to work with Gordon to provide pastoral care to Hope Church congregants and to support the Congregational Care and Health Ministries during Jill’s sabbatical. I see pastoral care as an opportunity to walk alongside individuals and families, at their invitation, during significant moments in their lives—to be present, to listen, and together to pray and bear witness to God’s grace. I look forward to our time in this season and ask for your prayers for the Holy Spirit’s filling and guidance as we journey together in this new way for a while.

~Sharon Arendshorst, Hope Church Elder