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Conversations with Jeffrey Hubers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Hubers. 

Jeffrey, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve been a pastor for nearly ten years. I started in West Michigan (Holland), serving various ministries and congregations while in seminary. After graduating with my M.Div., I followed a call to a congregation in South Dakota, where I served for a couple of years. My wife and I, however, missed our friends and the environment along Lake Michigan, so we found a congregation in St Joseph. It’s been a blessed fit, and we’ve called this place home for the past four years. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t think life is ever a smooth road. To be human is to struggle. Despite some bumps along the way, I’ve been grateful for the many gifts I’ve been given and the blessings I’ve experienced. 

The greatest challenges are likely the same for any who have served in ministry during the past decade. Declining trust and participation in communities of faith, a worldwide virus, increased tension in the public arena of politics and culture – all of these things have brought with them numerous challenges. Even so, despite those difficulties, I am grateful to be alive and grateful for the opportunity to serve. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As a pastor, most people may assume that the majority of my work centers around Sunday worship. Certainly, worship is foundational, but that’s only where my work begins. Besides preaching and leading worship gatherings, I also develop curriculum and materials for congregational education. I oversee the various employees of the congregation – from maintenance to parish nursing. I manage our organizational operations as well as interact with our lay leadership via various boards and committees. 

From the administrative, we move to the pastoral care aspects of my work, and those are really where my heart dwells. To walk with people through all the of the seasons of life – this is what I most feel called to and where I believe I am most gifted. This looks like hospital visitation and spending time in care facilities and nursing centers for those who are unable to take care of themselves. It also means home visits to be with those who are grieving or ill or struggling with life’s many difficult realities. I also see people in my office for various appointments, from counseling to just listening to their stories. 

I don’t know if anything sets me apart – there are many people who offer pastoral presence to others without wearing a clerical collar like I do. Yet I believe what drives me that may differ from my fellow caregivers is that I believe each and every interaction is a gift from God, an opportunity to actually love God in those I visit and encounter. I consider what I do to be a sacred privilege, and I am grateful for this vocation. 

What matters most to you? Why?
I think what matters most to me is that people realize that their lives are sacred. I want people to know through interacting with me that they are made in God’s Image. Life is a beautiful gift, even when it’s hard and ugly. What I hope people can walk away with after interacting with me on a pastoral level is that they believe that their life matters – it matters to God, and because it matters to God, it should matter to them. 

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