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Transitional pastor joins Presbyterian Church in Geneva

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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 10:19 am

GENEVA — The Rev. Dr. Deborah Lind-Schmitz, the transitional pastor at the Presbyterian Church in Geneva, knew a good fit when she saw it.

Lind-Schmitz applied for the one-year job because she liked what she had heard about the congregation and its progressive theology.

“Very similar to Madison [her former post], it has a strong commitment to mission both locally and globally, so I live that idea,” Lind-Schmitz said.

Lind-Schmitz started Jan. 15, replacing the Rev. James Gerling, who decided to retire after 32 years.

Lind-Schmitz earned her master of divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minn., in 1987. She earned her doctor of ministry degree in preaching and homiletics from the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 2008, and she has a bachelor’s degree in child psychology and music performance from the University of Minnesota.

She has two grown children and several grandchildren.

Lind-Schmitz has been an ordained pastor for more that 20 years and has served as a transitional pastor for 10 congregations in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Although her roots lie in the Midwest, Lind-Schmitz has a local tie. An ancestor moved to Rochester from the Dakotas to attend seminary, a trip her grandmother remembered well.

“I heard many stories growing up about this great and wonderful move to Rochester, New York,” Lind-Schmitz said.

She preached her first sermon in Geneva Jan. 20.

“I jump right in with both feet,” she said. “We had a really fine start last week, and people filled out index cards telling me a little about themselves. So I get out there and I meet people.”

Lind-Schmitz is also getting to know the city — so far, with happy results.

“I love this historic district,” she said. “I happen to be living only a couple doors away from the church, Park Place. It makes me feel like [I’m in] the Monopoly game!”

The church will soon elect a Pastor Nominating Committee to search for a permanent pastor.

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