Meet the Pastor

20160528-_DSC5504Rev. Elizabeth Duffy has served as Pastor of Zion United Church of Christ since 2010. She lives in Amherst with her husband and two children.

Pastor Elizabeth has a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology, and a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Lawrence University with a double major in Government and Religious Studies (or as she says, the two things you’re not supposed to talk about).

Pastor Elizabeth received her call to ministry when she was a sophomore at St. Lawrence; it was a powerful moment when God stopped Elizabeth in her tracks and spoke to her, not with an audible voice but with an overwhelming presence, telling Elizabeth that she needed to go to Seminary.

Pastor Elizabeth was raised in the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ. She then attended a United Methodist Divinity School and was ordained in the United Church of Christ. She considers herself a liberal-evangelical who is in love with the Lord and welcoming to all.

Want to know more? Come join us for worship or send the pastor an email. We hope to hear from you soon!

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Pastor’s Message

Praise the Lord! I think Spring has finally Sprung!

The forecast over the next 10 days is in the 60s-70s. We’ve been yearning for this spring weather, and it has finally arrived! Praise the Lord!

Pardon my excitement, but even though I love winter, I love Spring as well. I’m a four-season kind of person. When one season ends, I’m eager for the next season to arrive. The change in seasons keeps life exciting: our activities change from season to season, our moods change, our energy levels change, and every season has something special to offer. This reminds me of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, one of the most quoted poetic chapters in the Bible:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones; and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

These poetic verses remind us that everything changes. Nothing in this world stays the same, and everything has its own time and its own place. And our souls yearn for change: they yearn for something “more”. One of the reasons why we don’t always enjoy the present is because we’re always yearning for something “other.” Instead of thinking of that as bad, I want us to realize WHY we’re always yearning for something “more.” It’s because our souls yearn for God. Our soul’s main desire is to be at one with God, and until that moment when we enter the gates of Heaven and find that inexplicable one-ness and peace with God, our souls will continue to yearn for God. It’s really beautiful, if you think about it. While we’re on earth, our souls will always yearn for more, but it’s because they’re simply yearning for God.

That’s why worship, prayer, and meditation need to be central to our lives. Giving our souls moments to connect to God leaves us with a sense of fulfillment. Taking time to stop the thoughts of our minds from dictating our lives and allowing God to be present with us through worship and prayer, gives our souls the refreshing time that they need with God.

How are you allowing your soul to be refreshed by God? Are you dedicating enough time to worship, study, prayer, and meditation? Are you taking a few minutes every day to BREATHE and open your soul to the Holy Spirit? Our souls yearn for more because they yearn for God — so let’s practice SOUL CARE, friends. Let’s give our souls the time they need to refresh with God.

May this season lead you closer to the One who your soul longs to meet.

In Christ,

Pastor Elizabeth