Pastor Joe DeGrande
A warm hello to everyone! I’m proud and honored to have been given the opportunity to be your new pastor. I am also humbled to be following Pastor Peter and Pastor Jim – both who have shown the true heart and passion of ministry. I thank them for spending the time to share their wisdom and experience with me and all that you have meant to them. Thank you also to Mary Lou, who in last month’s newsletter asked everyone to forgive me. Yes, born in the Bronx, I am a Yankee fan.
Raised Roman Catholic, my life changed when I attended a Methodist worship in 2012 and heard the words read “…You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you…” (John 15:16). The God that I had searched for all my life was with me all the time, loved me for who I was, and was calling for me to follow. After retiring from Savage Arms, I completed two Clinical Pastor Education programs at Baystate Medical Center and began volunteer work as a Chaplain in Franklin Medical Center. Completing all the requirements, I was certified as a Lay Minister and began a prison ministry in Northampton, as well as co-hosting a Spirituality Group once a week. Asked to lead worship in Glastonbury Connecticut once or twice a month, I grew close to the congregation. My heart broke when the church could not sustain itself any longer and asked to close. I grieved and held hands with all who were so dear to me as we went through the process together. I knew then that I was being called to continue my journey and become a Pastor – to dedicate my life in giving glory to God through the vitality and growth of His church – the body of Christ.
My wife Beth and I share a blended family of five boys, all who are grown and creating their own paths in their journey. Wait a minute – eight grandchildren and four great grand-kids too – how did I get this old this fast? Playing guitar either in the band or by myself is my way of telling the stress and struggles of everyday life to just step aside for a moment – I need this time for me. I enjoy taking the motorcycle out, photographing the splendor of nature, and quiet rides through the countryside with Beth.
Should someone like to reach out to me with a question, a concern, or just to talk; or should something be weighing heavy on your heart, I’m only a call away – no matter what day or time. My cell phone is 413-237-6823 (call or text) or if you prefer, my email address is PastorJoe.Steeple.Falls@gmail.com. My office hours are every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 3:00. My door is always open so please stop by.
Thank you again for this honor and privilege and I look forward to us meeting and getting to know each other better.
May grace and blessings be in your path,
Pastor Joe …