The Rev. Katheryn McGinnis was recently called as the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church (Santa Cruz). As we haven't had a chance to sit down with her in person after a Presbytery meeting and get to know her a little bit, I've included her responses to some interview questions I recently asked her. More biographical details may also be found on Trinity's website at https://www.trinitypressc.org/staff
. Please welcome Katheryn to our community!
1) Tell us about your call to ministry. What compelled you to attend seminary and pursue ordained ministry?
I grew up in the Presbyterian church. My grandfather was a PCUSA minister, as well as my great-grandfather, great-great grandfather, and great-great-great grandfather. My great grandparents bought a home in Montreat Conferences Center in the early 1940s that has been shared by my extended family ever since. I grew up deeply molded by both my family history in the PCUSA and wonderful family memories of spending summers in Montreat with my cousins. In college, after trying out many different majors, I finally landed in religious studies and I absolutely loved it. I knew then I wanted to attend seminary, if only just to learn more. After college, I served in the Philippines as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV). It was there, being part of church communities in the mountains of Luzon, that I knew I wanted to pursue ordained ministry. After coming home I immediately started attending Princeton Theological Seminary in pursuit of my M.Div. After many classes and internships in both chaplaincy and parish ministry, and lots and lots of discerning, I felt the call to follow in my grandfather's footsteps and pursue ordained ministry. He died when I was very young, but looking back, I think I've always wanted to follow in his footsteps, even though it took me a while to realize it.
2) What drew you to Trinity and Santa Cruz?
Trinity is an open and affirming congregation that is very active in their community. I was drawn to their dedication and commitment to outreach and mission, and their love of both traditional Presbyterian worship and progressive theology. I knew they were a strong lay lead congregation and would provide a lot of support and guidance for me as I started my first call.
I was drawn to Santa Cruz because of its natural beauty and opportunity for adventure. I am an avid hiker and backpacker, so I was instantly drawn its beautiful trails: both in the mountains and along the coast.
3) What has surprised you about California?
The weather! Especially in Santa Cruz. The weather here changes so quickly. I was warned shortly upon arriving here to always bring a jacket, no matter the weather - that has proven to be true! Also the lack of humidity. Being from North Carolina, humidity is the norm. I was shocked when I first experienced 90 degree weather here. 90 degrees with no humidity in Santa Cruz is drastically different from the humid 90 degrees in N.C.
4) How can we pray for you?
Prayers for the grace to embrace humility and adaptability. Starting your first call in a pandemic is not ideal, so having the humility and flexibility to try new ways of ministry and then adapt has been crucial to my time here so far.
Katheryn, we're so glad you've joined us!