The Reverend Patt Kauffman
I was radicalized in seminary.
Oh, I had come from an open, and excepting family. I had raised my daughters to be welcoming and loving and non judgmental.
But it wasn't until seminary, sitting around a table discussing first call with my classmates, that I heard the stories many of them would have to endure if they were to be ordained.
Many of them would have to deny being gay or lesbian. They would have to lie about their loving relationships. They would have to lie to their families, to their judicatory boards, to their bishops, to their churches. They would have to live a lie even as they felt called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, which calls us to loving relationships with God and with each other.
I promised myself; I promised God - that wherever I served, wherever I was, I would always proclaim God's love for us all - gay, straight, married, partnered, young, old, healthy, disabled, poor, rich, male, female, housed, homeless - whatever our particularity, there is a place for all in God's house.
I am blessed to serve at St. Paul where the good news that Jesus brought to fallen humanity is that you are loved, even when you were in your sins, even when you failed to love God and love each other, you are loved by God who has bought you with the blood of Jesus.
When we turn from our wrongdoing, when we ask forgiveness for judging harshly, for loving poorly, for turning God's gracious acceptance into something only for a few, God meets us - in Jesus, in each other, now freed to work in this world for all whom the world calls other, and not worthy.
If you join me at St. Paul you will find people who are loving, caring, and working hard to be God's heart in this broken world. You will find people with questions, people with worry, people who are not perfect: in short, people like yourself. You will find people burning with love who are working to make God's love for us visible and real in this community, and in this world.
You will find people who have joy, not because they may or may not have problems, but because they have found Jesus, who loved us when we were most unlovable.
Come and see what we are doing!
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I was ordained on September 16, 2001, days after the events of 9/11, as the church dared say a word of hope and joy in the midst of unspeakable evil.
In 1999, I was able to devote myself to full time study, and entered Union Seminary in NYC, graduating in May, 2002. At graduation I was awarded the Maxwell Fellowship Award given to the graduating senior who shows most promise of excellence for future service in parish ministry, and the Interpretation award for outstanding student(s) of Bible and theology.
2001 - 2004 - First Call, to St. Thomas/Central Nyack.
2004 - 2007 - Grace Episcopal/Nyack NY
2007 - 2008 interim, St. Andrew's/Yorktown Heights NY
2008 - term call, St. Peter’s/ Port Jervis NY
2009 - 2015 St. Peter’s/Port Jervis NY
2015 - 2019 Chaplain, Bon Secours Community Hospital, Port Jervis NY
Also during this time I served countless churches as supply pastor, serving congregations in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
September 2019 - present - Vice Pastor, St Paul/Teaneck
St Paul is a Reconciling in Christ Congregation, which welcomes
and affirms people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, age, class,
color, ethnic origin; people who are single, married, divorced, separated,
blessed, or partnered..
With my husband Bill, we are the parents of four grown daughters and
have five grandchildren.