Sitka Pastor Connects With Community

August 05, 2015 | Nathaniel Stearman

As the new pastor of the Sitka Church, Nathan Stearman wondered how he might be able to connect in a meaningful way with the local community. It didn’t take long to discover one very special way.

A couple of years earlier, he had had the priviledge of serving in a large hospital as one of its chaplains. Stearman was hoping to have the privilege of doing so again — and God provided a way, though not at a hospital. In becoming acquainted with the local communty, one of the first places he visited was the police station. On that first visit, Stearman enjoyed a brief, pleasant visit with Sheldon Schmidt, the police chief. As they talked, Schmidt expressed his desire to have a new department chaplain and asked if Stearman would consider the position. The previous chaplain had moved away, and it felt like something was missing. Stearman agreed to consider the offer.

When Stearman returned a day or two later, he was able to meet Jeff Ankerfelt, police lieutenant, who was excited at the possibility too. Stearman decided to serve as chaplain. His service with the department involves ministry to the officers, occasionally to their families and sometimes to those in the jail. Stearman also ministers to community members facing times of crisis or large disasters.

Through this ministry, Stearman is able to demonstrate the love and care of Jesus in a practical way. He is grateful God has placed this opportunity right in his pathway. What opportunities might God be placing in your path? Take the risk and engage. God can only use people who make themselves available to Him and others in ministry.