After an extensive search and call process, we welcome Rev. Bruce Schoup (rhymes with “shout”) as our new Settled Term Pastor starting June 1, 2020.
About Pastor Bruce
I’m the one in the black shirt. Obviously, I like my new friend. In reverse it seems to be rather accepting. Yes, the sculpture is funny looking, but what an awesome and welcoming expression.. So much so, that I felt completely at ease with interacting with it. Isn’t this a metaphor for church. Sometimes outsiders, especially the unchurched, see us as “funny looking”, but one with a broad welcoming message. It is a message that invites, even welcomes individuals to come, interact, and check us out.
The photo of myself and the sculpture was taken last summer. It was the beginning of a 170 mile bike ride that began in Luxembourg, ran along the banks of the Mossel River in Germany, and ending up where the Mossel joins with the Rhine river. The route went by ancient churches, through vineyards, near castles, ancient cities, through picturesque villages, and Roman Villas. From there I went on for a four day “church” experience in Germany called Kirchentag. This is an event you probably never heard of. It happens every couple years in Germany. 100,000 plus Protestants descend upon a city for music, drama, learning, worship, and simply being together. It is an experience! I’m sharing these details about my vacation last summer, because it tells you about the kind of person I am. My ministry and my life are interwoven. Vacation usually includes a churchy component. I enjoy relaxation, and I enjoy activity. I like being playful and I like getting down to business. It is my belief that this is how church should be. As we go about being church we should have times when we work, serve, laugh, eat, talk, plan, grieve, celebrate, worship. Sadly, this will be the first summer in a long time that I will not have had a summer experience that blends faith, renewal, and an experience of some kind. Then again, no one would call this a normal year with so many of us sheltering in place and the impact that a pandemic is having on our nation and world.
Bios are also supposed to give a few statistics. I was born in Turkey to parents who were missionaries serving the United Church of Christ in Aleppo, Syria. I graduated from High School in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. I went to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and earned a BA in Business Administration and Economics. Ursinus is similar to Olivett—same size, both UCC. I received a Master’s of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School outside of Boston. Since then I have served the church in a variety of settings. Ministry has led me to serving congregations in Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, and now Michigan. There have been side excursions to Ghana and Beirut, Lebanon. Most of my ministry has been with congregations, but I have had experiences with universities/places of instruction, care centers, and a children’s home. Most enjoyable has been serving with a congregation. Together we get to be the Body of Christ, talk about Jesus, hang out together, engage with ministry, and deepen our faith. Along the way I did get married, sadly marriage did not work out. Now, I am contentedly single. Well, sort of, there is a cat named Gracie.
– Pastor Bruce Schoup