The congregation of Meadow Spring Presbyterian Church is happy to announce that the Rev. Elizabeth Shen O’Connor has answered the call to become our Pastor. Rev. Elizabeth will be joining us in Mid February 2018. We are very excited for her and her family to join our church family.
Elizabeth has served Brunswick Church in Troy, New York, since 2011. In her years there, she has functioned both as an associate pastor and as acting head of staff. She brings experience in pastoral care, planning and leading worship, conducting Bible studies and membership classes, leading spiritual gifts workshops and developing leadership within the church. She has moderated session and worked extensively with deacons to strengthen their compassionate care and train them in spiritual care. She was instrumental in leading the church through a time of transition, working closely with their presbytery and session to shepherd the congregation through a time of crisis and healing.
Prior to her time at Brunswick Church, Elizabeth served as a pastoral intern at First Presbyterian Church of Tuckerton, NJ, for two and a half years. During her time there, she instituted an annual Blue Christmas healing service, worked to write and adapt Christian education materials for youth and adult groups, planned and led worship, and provided pastoral care.
While discerning her call to seminary and ministry, Elizabeth worked for two years as executive assistant to the chief financial officer and general counsel of HouseValues, Inc. (currently Market Leader, Inc.) during the booming housing market and subsequent collapse. She gained valuable experience with this rapidly growing, newly public company, communicating new policies and procedures and coordinating company-wide projects.
In 2003-2004, out of a deep desire to be intentional about their faith life, Elizabeth and James worked at L’Arche Sydney, Inc., which is a non-profit, faith-based organization in Sydney, Australia, that provides community and care for adults with developmental disabilities. About this experience, Elizabeth said, “My time in L’Arche helped me to understand fully what it means to live in Christian community. I learned to hold tenderly other people’s beliefs and perspectives, to work through tension and discord in love, to prioritize the balance between my family life and my life in the community, to grieve along with my fellow community members in their losses and suffering and to celebrate the gift of our life together.”
Elizabeth received her Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She completed Level 1 Certification in Clinical Pastoral Education at Bellevue Hospital in New York, NY, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington. Elizabeth has also completed continuing education in numerous subjects including mediation skills, mission and visioning development, suicide prevention, death and grief, and pastor and session as partners.