Hello.  My name is Gretchen Switzer.  As an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, I have experienced great, deep love for the church at many times and unfathomable frustration with the church at other times.  The church, though created and bound together by Jesus Christ, is still a largely human organization.  As a result, we fallible, limited creatures often make mistakes and muck up the harmonious community  God first called the church to be.  Still, we also often soar high above any dreams  we might have had for ourselves and reflect God’s glory with an intense clarity.

I served as a parish pastor in the UCC for twenty-one years.  For eighteen of those years, I was an Intentional Interim Minister, specializing in churches -at -risk from dwindling or aging populations, decreasing financial resources or following leadership betrayals by sexually abusive pastors.  In this capacity I have  seen churches at their worst and at their best. I have worked with churches that tried to be faithful when the going was rough and congregations that  couldn’t  manage to be faithful even when the going was easy.  As every individual person is different so the character of every congregation is unique.

After 2 decades doing this work, I was burning out fast.  My last parish ministry was at Grace Congregational United Church of Christ in Framingham, Massachusetts, where I worked closely with my co-author, Linda Hilliard.  Following my time at Grace, I chose to retire early and use my time and energy to become a writer.  Finishing With Grace  is my first book project to make it all the way to publication.  Consultations and teaching opportunities related to the subject of church closings provides me with a new sort of ministry to struggling congregations.

Personally, I am married  to a wonderful guy who is a chef.  Our two children, eleven and almost thirteen, live with us in Worcester, Massachusetts.  I am currently completing  a book of parenting/women’s humor  entitled “Menopausal Mommies”  and Other Stories to Make You Laugh Out Loud.  I am also writing an epistolary novel with the working title, Letters to Grandma.  The novel is aimed at teenage girls who often don’t have older women in their lives to help them through the struggles of adolescent experience.

To Purchase “Finishing With Grace” click here