Peninsula Lutheran Church will welcome its new pastor, Chuck Slocum, at a 10 a.m. service Sunday (Sept. 11).
Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Slocum’s early years in the faith were attending a small, spirited Baptist Church where he was a mainstay in the youth group. Through some prodigal years in college and prodding by the Holy Spirit, his faith journey took him to Christikon Lutheran Bible Camp in Montana.
“There, I found a spiritual home grounded in grace, worship and community, experienced the call to serve in youth ministry, and became an unabashed born-again Lutheran,” Slocum said in a release.
He has served as a Lutheran pastor since 1993, and had been serving at Vinland Lutheran in Poulsbo since 2000.
“Although it was never, ever my intention to be a parish pastor, I have been blessed and surprised by how much joy I find in pastoral ministry,” he said. “To preach and teach, help the baptized grow in their faith, and to be present with God’s people in times of celebration, crisis, prosperity, adversity and the stuff of daily life is good.”
Slocum and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, Caroline, 13, and Mark, 12. This summer, Elizabeth continued her graduate studies in education, as she is an aspiring middle school teacher. She is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and very much at home in the pastor’s family.
“Our family enjoys getting away to the family cabin on Guemes Island (among the San Juans),” Slocum said. “With no TV or telephone, we are free to unplug and be renewed in God’s creation.”
When he is not wrestling with my children or Scripture, he enjoys staying active at the YMCA or planning his next pilgrimage. Slocum’s other passions include reading Sports Illustrated, exploring new micro-breweries, and making sure he has a life outside of church.
“My favorite bible story is the Prodigal Son,” he said. “In my experience, depending on where you are in your life, you can identify with the father, elder brother, or prodigal son. My favorite biblical character is Jonah. I can relate to his plans being turned upside-down by God. My heart knows the humanity and hilarity of his call process. In this rather messy story, God prevails by grace not force. That is my metaphor for the church. There is mess, failure, and drawbacks among God’s people yet mercy prevails. We’re surprised to find Christ here with us in this place.”
Peninsula Lutheran Church is located at 6509 38th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor. For more information, call 253-851-3511.