Introducing Sabbatical Supply Minister Dianne Rodriguez
We are delighted to introduce our sabbatical supply minister, Dianne Rodriguez, who will be joining us starting June 1st!
After graduating from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in May of 2005, Pastor Dianne Rodriguez was called as minister to First Parish Church, U.C.C. in Jamesport, NY on Long Island. That same year she was ordained as a U.C.C. minister, of Word and Sacrament. Prior to this call she served at Bethany Congregational in East Rockaway for two years as a licensed minister and Spiritual Director. During these years she volunteered at Christa House, a resident home for those dying of AIDS. She also worked with a colleague to help facilitate spiritual gatherings for those with brain trauma. She completed a three year spiritual formation certification as a Spiritual Director from the Cenacle Retreat Center in Ronkonkoma, NY.
Spiritual direction brought a discerning depth into her ministry at First Parish Church, U.C.C. as she helped the congregation discern God's will and vision of what it meant to be a church in the 21st Century. In addition to working with her own parish Dianne collaborated with a lay leader from Bethany Congregational, U.C.C. to explore developing a Spiritual Lifelines ministry which would serve to help enrich the spiritual life of a congregation challenged by our ever changing world. Dianne was overjoyed having been given the opportunity to serve at Forest Grove UCC for 3 months as sabbatical supply pastor several years ago. Upon her return Dianne completed Intentional Ministry Training which is part of a transitional ministry training through the Interim Ministry Network.
In her last eight years at First Parish Church, U.C.C. she helped the congregation discern a Spiritual Renewal Ministry, that actively seeks to model and be a community in which spirit and service come together. Dianne was the settled part time pastor at Hubbard UCC in Hubbard Oregon, helping the worshiping congregation close on January 6, 2019; and birth The Heart2Soul Spiritual Project. She has had an ongoing spiritual direction ministry and is affiliated with The Interfaith Spiritual Center. After having moved to Oregon, Dianne has completed restorative justice training at Resolutions Northwest, facilitated women's retreats, leadership annual visioning retreats, and serves on the committee on ministry of the Central Pacific Conference.
Pastor Dianne is loved and supported by her husband of 39 years, Lazaro, her son David and daughter-in-law Katrina, and her two grandsons Xavier and Quintin. As a former dancer Dianne has a great appreciation and love for ballet and all the arts that can be used as instruments of God experience in body, soul, and mind. Her special interests in life are reading, bicycle riding on her yellow and hot pink Del Sol, beading, nature, the arts, theatre, music and dance, Feldenkrais body awareness movement classes, gardening, traveling and dining with friends. Her passion in ministry is rooted and founded in spiritual direction.
Staff Announcement - Courtney Czarnecki, Office Administrator
Hello to the congregation of Bethel UCC! I wanted to introduce myself to you in this week’s Highlights, and I look forward to meeting you in person as I settle into my role as your new Office Administrator! My name is Courtney Czarnecki, and I relocated from Seattle, WA, where I was born and raised, to Portland this past summer. While in Seattle, I worked as an office administrator and program coordinator in the nonprofit sector, mostly working in the arts and humanities. As I job hunted in Portland, my new home, I had my heart set right away on this position at Bethel and was very moved by the dedication to community support and direct outreach that Bethel provides to its community, along with the uplifting values of the congregation and the perspective Rev. David Randall-Bodman shares as Senior Pastor. I knew it would be a great fit, and it has been a wonderful first couple weeks of training and getting to know the community! When I’m not at work, I’m usually trying to cook a new recipe, reading a classic novel, taking a long walk, sewing, or exploring Portland. Being a lifelong learner and staying curious are so important to me, and I love to learn and talk about travel, culture, philosophy, literature, theology, history, science, you name it! Please stop by the office any time to say hi, and I am so grateful for the warm welcome I have received.