About Pastor Joe

Welcome to my blog!!  My name is Joe McGarry and I am the Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, Massachusetts.  Click here to listen to some of my sermons.

I love my job as a pastor because I believe I am about to live out what God is calling me to do in the world.  I serve a multi-generational church and we are able to build important, life giving relationships with one another. Through these relationships we learn our faith story, we connect with one another, we discover our unique gifts which enables us to live our best life.

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Preaching at Monument Park in Gardner, MA

What I blog about

I write about ways that families can connect to one another and to connect with God.  We are increasingly becoming a multi-generational society.  It is not uncommon to find three to four generations (or more) living together at the same time!  This is a wonderful thing but it can come with challenges.

Below are some of the topics I write about:

Family

Leadership

Devotions

God Moments

Community

I typically publish new posts on Monday’s and Friday’s.  If you want to keep up with every new post you can subscribe to my blog via email.  You can also catch up with my blogging by liking my Facebook page.  If you would like to see more of what I have written, check out my archives.

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My Family September 2014

Who God Created me to Be

I realize that God has blessed me with many gifts in my life, and I try to be thankful every day for those gifts.  The way I write is the lens that I see the world.  There are three ways in which this happens.

I. Family and Community

This means that those who are involved in my life are important to me.  I enjoy feeling connected to something bigger than myself. Community and Family have a lot of the same meaning for me because the communities that I am involved in and close too become like family to me.  For me communities exist because God is in, with and under the people gathered. God’s presences allows people to look past the outside, and see the heart of one another. One of my favorite parables is Luke 15:11-32 –The Prodigal Son.  The parable reminds me of God’s love for me even when I mess up.

II.      Care for Names and how someone is known

Whenever I tell a story I include people’s names (unless confidentiality forces me not to say their name).  But names and how someone is known is important to me.   When you use someone’s name you are building a deeper relationship with that person.  We are all given names and they mean something to us, to those who gave us the name and to God.

Isaiah 43: 1

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

God tells us that he has called our name.  What better news can you get than the creator of the universe calling out your name because of how much he loves you!

III.    Receptivity of God – God Moments

Being receptive to God in our lives means that we are open to God’s call to us.  In order to do this God needs to be accessible to everyone.  The Gospel not only needs to be preached, but it needs to be preached in a way that means something to people. How do we speak to our world in a way that brings life-changing results? This is a question that I ask myself everyday.  God is in the business of changing lives.

All of this is accomplished through the use of story-telling.  I love stories, I love telling them and hearing them.  As we walk together feel free to stop by and tell me your story.

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My Biography

I have been a part of the church as long as I can remember.  As a child I was active in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Rutland, Vermont as president of the youth group, assisting minister and choir member.  As a teenager I joined the staff at Camp Calumet in Freedom, New Hampshire; I was on the summer staff for ten summers.

I participated in various ministries while in college.  In 1999 I joined the year round staff at Camp Calumet and was with them for three years.  At Calumet I helped plan, and host retreat for churches all around the New England Synod. It was at Calumet that I felt my strongest call to ministry.

I left Calumet in 2002 and joined the staff at Hope Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania as a Youth Director, After School Director, and Assistant Music Minister.

In 2003 I finished my degree from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota in Youth Development.

In 2004 I entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.  While in seminary I worked as a Youth Director forGood Shepherd Lutheran Church in Southampton, PA and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Telford, PA.  I did a year’s internship at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Hill, PA under the supervision of The Reverend William Vanderslice. I also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education as a trauma bay chaplain  at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey.  I graduated from LTSP with a Master’s of Divinity in 2008.

I was called in 2008 to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Baldwinsville, New York at their pastor.  I spent a little over five and a half years at St. Mark’s.  I was involved with many ministries in the church and in the synod including Vanderkamp, Lutheran Campus Ministry at Syracuse University, the Candidacy Committee of the Upstate NY Synod and the Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce.

In January 2014 I accepted a call to Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA.  I began my ministry at Faith on March 9, 2014.  This is where I currently serve and live with my wife Katie and my two children Logan and Addyson.

In my free time I enjoy watching New England Patriots Football, Syracuse football and basketball.  I also enjoy playing my guitar and blogging.

Here are some links to some newspaper articles I have been featured in:

Evangelical Lutheran pastor ordained in Lysander

Blessing of the Pets in Baldwinsville

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Giving my son his first communion

My Contact Information

You can subscribe to my blog reach me by email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclaimer

This my personal blog. The opinions that I express here do not necessarily represent those of the church in which I am called, Faith Lutheran Church, the New England Synod or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The information I provide is my opinion only. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog.  I may borrow, beg, steal to get some information but I will do my best in giving credit where credit is due.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “About Pastor Joe

  1. We/you have quite a task in front of us/you. I believe that in order to be truly effective in our ministry/mission we need a complete overhaul. Especially in the area of our attitudes. A large task indeed. Are you ready to embark on this adventure?

  2. I’ll try. But it’s really not a matter of keeping up but one of simply getting on board with this fantastic journey and staying on for the long haul. You see being a church so steeped in tradition it’s hard to truly do something new. But as Jesus says “You cannot pour new wine into old wine skins.”

  3. Dear beloved servant of God,
    Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jesus Christ our savior and redeemer.
    Am pleased to inform you that I have visited your web site and seen the wonderful work God has given you to fulfill for His Kingdom purposes Glory and blessings!
    We are a group of Christians,who gather together for fellowship to praise and worship God.Am writing you from Kenya (Africa) our ministyry’s aim is to pread the true and pure Gosple of Jesus Christ. Since we do not have enough resources to make the work of God expand and reach the many people who have not been reached by the Gospel ,It is my humble request and prayer that you may give us moral support of both physical and spiritual to enable us reach and restore our dear sisters and brothers who have not been reached by these good news.We need you to be our spiritual parent.

    Humbly and Kindly if our almighty God would allow you and open your hearts, we are attached in this work you are doing in the lord for building God’s bridge to enter the Kingdom, to unite one spirit with you and further the Kingdom.Hope to ,hear from you.

    Yours,

    Pastor kombo

  4. Hello,
    I am the art director for Living Lutheran. We will be posting a link to “Two Bald Pastors podcast with Bishop Eaton” on Nov. 13. We would like to use the photo of you “two bald pastors” and Bishop Eaton to promote the link. I need your permission to use the photo and a digital file of the photo. Would you be able to provide those two things.

    Michelle Goodman
    Manager, Graphics and Artistic Direction
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631-4101
    Tel: 800-638-3522 ext 2546 ▪ Direct: 773-380-2546
    michelle.goodman@elca.org

  5. Sobre todo original, sin duda, porque no todo el mundo se atreve a casarse con un vestido de ese color. A mí desde luego me encanta!La verdad es que el lugar es inarbpaocmle también, la capilla al lado del mar y con un día de lujo.Y para no desentonar con todo lo demás, las fotos también son originales, preciosas. Como siempre, con mucho encanto, Roy.

  6. Lui au moins hésite, ce qui est au moins un signe d’humilité (d’intelligence?) dont vous semblez dépourvu. Qui sommes-nous pour « aider » les Américains dans le choix de leur dirigeant?