(Chelsea Update would like to thank Sue Keezer and the St. Paul UCC communications team for the information in this story as well as the photo.)
St. Paul United Church of Christ recently announced the arrival of its new pastor, Rev. Eric M. Stricklin.
Stricklin previously served as Associate Pastor at Zion United Church of Christ in Canton, OH, focusing on family and youth ministries. He also served churches in Coloma, Mich., and Chicago, IL.
He is a graduate of Defiance College and received his Masters of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary.
Stricklin loves preaching and teaching, and he has a deep love of theology and the Bible. He sees himself as a serious theologian who doesn’t take himself too seriously.
He has a particular interest in intergenerational ministry, and he is working to ensure that Christ followers of all ages feel they have an important role in the life and mission of the church. A key element of his ministry is to be out in the community, becoming a familiar and helpful face to all neighbors.
“This is a new beginning for all of us, and we can be sure that there will be a lot of excitement ahead,” he said in a press release.
I plan to spend a lot of time in the coming months building meaningful relationships within St. Paul and within our wider community. I am excited about this new beginning and the journey ahead,” he said.
Stricklin is passionate about his work with young people. He is a dedicated coach who has worked with high school football and middle school wrestling programs. He sees coaching as an extension of his ministry, allowing him to build relationships.
Having grown up in Portage, Mich., Stricklin is excited to return home to Michigan. He and his wife, Rita, an educator, enjoy attending sports events, reading and taking nature hikes with their rescue dog, Hank.
“Rita, Hank, and I have quickly fallen in love with the beautiful community of Chelsea. It is quite clear to our little family that God has called us to this exact place at this exact time, and we are home,” he said.
St. Paul UCC has been part of the Chelsea community for more than 150 years. The congregation is a community of faith, which respects, values and welcomes all of God’s creation. We recognize, welcome and empower the gifts given to each of us by God to serve, care for, enjoy and love each other in the name of Christ. We are proud to support local organizations, including Faith in Action, Avalon Housing and Jackson Interfaith Shelter.
St. Paul serves as a host for the Chelsea/Dexter Area Crop Walk and will be the new home of the Chelsea Children’s Cooperative Preschool.
St. Paul UCC is located at 14600 Old US-12 in Chelsea.
All are welcome to attend worship on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.