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Pastor’s calling brings her to Delmar

New head of church a rare occurrence in history of Delmar Presbyterian

The Rev. Karen Pollan has become only the third pastor in Delmar Presbyterian Church’s 57 years.

The Rev. Karen Pollan has become only the third pastor in Delmar Presbyterian Church’s 57 years. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— For only the third time in 57 years, Delmar Presbyterian Church is welcoming a new pastor.

The Rev. Karen Pollan became the church’s new, permanent pastor on Sunday, Sept. 8. She moved to the Capital District from Salem, Ore., where she served as associate pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Salem for the past 12 years.

Pollan said she was first interviewed for the position in April, and was called back by the presbytery in May before being accepted by the church’s congregation. She said the process is almost like online dating in that new pastors have to fill out a personal information form in response to presbytery pastor requests that are placed on the denomination’s website.

“Something attracted me to New York, and I emailed them back saying God is calling us to work together,” said Pollan.

The pastor said she was attracted to Delmar Presbyterian because she liked how open and welcoming the congregation is to all members of the public.

“They also have a string interest and involvement with local mission work,” she said. “They’ve made the strong decision to be a positive force in their community, and a high percentage of the congregation is involved with mission work on a weekly basis.”

Pollan said she likes it when members of her church are willing to get involved.

“I’m not interested in those who just sit in the pews and feel they’ve fulfilled their spiritual obligations for the week,” she said. “This is a group of people very engaged in advocacy. About 75 percent are involved in mission work each week.”

Pollan attended Austin Presbyterian Theological School in Austin, Texas, and later served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Sulphur Springs. She them moved on to Oregon. Pollan is filling the position left by Rev. Tom O’Donnell.

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