Springville, Dimock welcome new pastor

CECILY EISLEY

BY PAT FARNELLI

A new pastor for the Springville United Methodist Church and the Dimock Christian Community Church arrived July 10, and she has been settling in this summer.

Cecily Eisley has been very well received, according to Robin Emmerich, who attends the Springville church and served on  its pastor-parish relations committee.

The two churches have fairly different congregations.

Springville Methodist has an older group of worshippers, while Dimock Christian Community is comprised of, among others, many young families, with a vibrant youth group and Sunday School filled with children.

The Springville church has always been Methodist, while the non-denominational Dimock Christian Community has been on the Springville charge for as far back as anyone can remember.

The building itself is a former Presbyterian Church.

Methodist pastors inPennsylvaniaare called to serve a charge, which in rural areas often is comprised of two or more churches, sharing a pastor and scheduling their services accordingly.

The two congregations occasionally interact, as they did on a recent Sunday for a joint worship service and picnic at the Dimock Camp Meeting Grounds.

The churches were looking for a pastor who could relate well to older folks, youth, and the community in general.

Eisley said her strengths lie in the gifts of ministry, rather than preaching per se. “I wanted to improve my preaching, so I took a 13-week course on “Preaching with Power” with the head of Toastmasters International,” she said.

“I feel called to minister, more than to preach,” she said, noting that her strengths are compassion, discernment, and a listening heart.

Eisley attendedAlbrightCollegeand  is a graduate ofLockHavenUniversity. She completed her internship as a social worker/chaplain at  Susqueview Nursing Home in Clinical Pastoral Education in the Oncology Unit atWilliamsportHospital. She also studied for the ministry at Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Eisley said that she feels she has a gift for working with Alzheimer’s patients, and with the dying.

“The moment of death is as sacred as the moment of birth,” she said. “I learned so much from working with cancer patients. The patients in the oncology unit are the most courageous of people.”

Eisley has been shaped by her own experiences with personal trials, which have endowed her with great empathy and compassion.

Her mission statement is “By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit,  I will witness, naturally, courageously, and joyfully, and serve with a listening heart.”