; charset=UTF-8" /> One Man, Many Talents : Connecting Voices
Free hacker tools

One Man, Many Talents

By Susan Jakubowski-Weiner, Connecting Voices Editor

     Ordination was one of those later in life gifts, but the Rev. Dr. Jerold “Jerry” Garber has done wondrous things with his calling since 2001!  An early life-journey led Jerry to a B.S. in Ed. degree in Education/ Speech Theatre from Northern Illinois University, which he promptly put to good use teaching in a large suburban Chicago high school for 16 years.  An interest in FM radio added to the school’s curriculum for Jerry, and his life’s next calling grew that interest.  Having added an M.A. from the University of Michigan in Radio, Television and Film, Jerry then moved to Wyoming and, as Jerry likes to say,  “played cowboy” for 5 ½ years.  While there, he taught at a local community college and founded the first (and still only!) public television station in the state.  During this time Jerry was able to hone his media talents and had an enjoyable time.  In 1985 general manger opportunities were knocking at his door, with a request coming from Idaho Public Television.  During the next 11 years, Jerry helped that station flourish and initiated its electronic classrooms. 

     Life took an interesting turn in 1996, when Jerry had the opportunity to meet the then-President of the Claremont School of Theology.  They had some meaningful dialogue, and before long Jerry was a school employee.  This employment opportunity assisted Jerry in realizing that rather than being an employee, he really desired a life of ministry. He obtained his M. Div in 2000.  During his seminary time, Jerry was a member in discernment at Bethel Congregational (UCC) Church in Ontario.  While there, Jerry was mentored by the Rev. Dr. Rick Kuykendall.  Ordination was followed by part-time ministry at Bethel.  An experience working with Intentional Interim Minister Rev. Gail Benson at Bixby Knolls Christian Church (DOC) followed.  It was there, through Gail’s guidance, that Jerry first entertained and then pursued a calling to intentional interim ministry.  Simultaneously, feeling that he needed to add “doctor” to his credentials, Jerry continued in the Claremont Doctorate of Ministry Program, and became the first person to graduate (in 2001) with the degree after only one year of study! 

     After changing his ministry focus, a first call came from Fontana Community (UCC) Church.  Sadly, this congregation was not meant to continue and its doors were closed.  A next opportunity, with Church of the Chimes (DOC) went as planned and Jerry served until a called minister was in place.  In 2002, while living back in Illinois, another meeting occurred with a friend, our own later-to-be Interim Conference Minister, the Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler-Hoffman.  Had Jerry ever considered working in reconciliation ministry?  There was a training opportunity to work with troubled churches; those that had lost focus.  Jerry found that with his extensive administrative background he became very successful in working with churches with communication difficulties. 

     Jerry returned to California in 2006, specifically to Covina Community (UCC) Church, where he stayed for three years.  A highlight was being able to teach adult Bible study, one of his true loves.  Last November brought Jerry to Community Congregational UCC of Los Alamitos (CCUCC), where he remains today.  He is excited to be able to lend his technology skills and assistance in “re-crafting” the church.  The church will soon celebrate its history and then close the book of its past and move on to its future.  Jerry knows there are good things for this church and its days ahead.

     The first question he asks congregations in transition is:  If we really believe we have a Still Speaking God, what is God now saying to us that we know ends with a question mark?  Churches need to take a good look inside and ask themselves:  If we were just establishing this church today, would it look like the church we are now attending?  If not, what would we change?  Good advice for any congregation!

     How does Jerry spend his “down” time?  He enjoys designing web sites and computer software and still professionally performs voice-overs.  He loves cars, takes great pride in his 1969 Barracuda and recently purchased a limited edition 2010 Dodge Challenger.   And oh, one of the gifts that age brings, Jerry loves being with his son, three step-children, one grandson and soon-to-arrive granddaughter.  As for his ministry, Jerry hopes to continue doing intentional interim ministry forever.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free