The Rev. Dr. Alberta C. Wallace is a trained interim minister with 18 years in the ministry. Pastor Alberta comes to Grace Church from the First Congregational Church of Wakefield, New Hampshire. She has an extensive educational background with a degree in Sociology and Psychology, a Masters in Social Work, and many levels of ministerial training, culminating in a Doctorate of Ministry focusing on leadership development and transitional ministry for churches.
Pastor Alberta has given Grace Church permission to use her words as a way of introduction:
“Hello, my sisters and brothers of Grace Congregational Church UCC-Rutland, VT!
I am an African American female raised in the Black Baptist tradition leading in a predominantly white progressive denomination. I am here because I know God created us to die empty, filled with knowledge that God’s love was shared and emptied in many places and with many people.
I am passionate for churches in the “in between” times, those times after a pastor leaves and before they call their new pastor. The “in between” times require a shepherd who can console – naming the many emotions members may be experiencing and prod them to embrace their new season with a prayerful plan to identify their next pastoral partner. I strongly believe the transition period is an opportune time for the church to reflect on the past, heal from the past and acknowledge how God has worked with them to serve one another, the community and the wider world, celebrate the gifts born and ministries launched and dream with eyes wide open accepting and acknowledging “God is doing a new thing” in their midst. My passion is for the church to be relevant and authentic for their community and the community they serve.
You are brave, resourceful, and committed to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. Why else would you call a transitional care minister during a global health pandemic to guide you in seeing how your past has provided the steppingstones for your future? Only brave people can stand naked in the mirror and see the beauty in the imperfections.
When Wendy (my partner) and I received the tour of the church, a member of the Interim Search Committee (Diane) looked at me and said I was the only candidate they did not interview face-to-face. She then said, we decided to take a leap of faith. I responded (with a little hop) – then we will leap into this journey together. That is what an intentional interim minister does; joins you on your journey and guides you to hear from God anew and to see yourselves as God sees you.
Blessings, my sisters, and brothers in Christ! We know God is still speaking. Let us prepare to hear and see what God has for Grace Congregational UCC in this new world order.
Wendy and I have made our home in Bomoseen after leaving New Hampshire where I completed my last intentional interim call. I arrived in New England from Arizona where I lived for 10 years. The Midwest is where I was raised and educated. My seminary training was guided by the professors at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, an American Baptist USA affiliated educational institution with strong ecumenical partnerships located in Shawnee, Kansas. There, I earned the Master’s in Divinity and Doctorate in Ministry.
My first call to ministry was in social work. At the University of Kansas, I completed the Master’s in Social Work with emphasis in Administration.
God has been preparing me for over 20 years and continues to prepare me to walk alongside the people of God in the “in-between” times: after a long-term settled pastor has ended their service to the gathered body of Christ.
The gifts of assessment, pastoral care, preaching, teaching, administration, and leadership development are a few of the hats God has given me to wear. I continue to add to my “gift box” and God continues to reveal how the gifts that have been given can be shared wastefully.
Thank you, Grace Congregational Church UCC of Rutland, VT for inviting me to join you at this sacred time in the life of this church. Let us join our arms together (virtually as we are in the season of physical distancing) and leap, hop, and pray to the new music God is writing for you to move to.”