Rev. Amanda Ross

“My education taught me to be adaptive and flexible and more than anything filled with grace,” Rev. Amanda Ross says of her time at Saint Paul School of Theology.

Rev. Ross is a 2010 graduate of the Master of Divinity program at Saint Paul. She has served as Pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, since 2015.

Recently, Rev. Ross told us how she continues to connect with her congregation in the era of COVID-19. One thing she has noticed is how online platforms actually make worship more convenient. St. Paul UMC currently offers Facebook Live services every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Services are recorded so that parishioners can watch them at a later time through YouTube or the church website.

For those without an Internet connection, “we have Zoom going so that people can call in,” she explains.

Rev. Ross provides a daily devotion on Facebook Live every Monday through Friday. St. Paul UMC also offers occasional Bible and Book studies live on Zoom, which are recorded and posted on YouTube and the church website. This allows more people to access the content at their own convenience.

In addition to online worship experiences, Rev. Ross talks about meeting the emotional needs of her parishioners: “I do a lot more listening and allow people to vent to me.”

Since the pandemic began, she has spent more time writing cards. She provides her contact information so that people can get ahold of her by phone or email when they need to talk.

Rev. Ross says her congregation continues to share the love of Christ with one another by staying in touch when they can’t meet in person. They have “been very good about calling one another and checking in on each other. There is also a group that continues to make random deliveries to our congregation to remind them they are loved.”

Members of St. Paul UMC also continue to serve the St. Joseph community through food ministries that were in place before the COVID-19 began.

One challenge Rev. Ross has noticed is engaging children and youth during these challenging times. Although she has been providing a confirmation class through Zoom, youth group and children’s ministries have seen lower engagement in 2020.

At Saint Paul, we commend all of our dedicated alumni like Rev. Ross who provide essential leadership to their communities in times of need. Our MDiv program prepares students to answer Gods’ call to ministry both in and out of a church setting.

If you are interested in following in the footsteps of Rev. Ross and others who are making a positive difference, we invite you to fill out an online application. You may call us at 913-253-5084 if you have questions.

And from all of us at Saint Paul, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and joyous Christmas season and a blessed new year in 2021.

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