Our Blog

Filter By:

← Return to Blog Home

Shirley Funk, at 50 years of ordination, shares her story

main image

Good Wednesday morning to you,

As many of you know, we will celebrate the 50th ordination anniversary of Shirley Funk on Sunday, Sept. 15. The service has some of her favorite hymns and a cake reception is planned afterward. In addition, Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee will be here.

In preparation for Sunday, I asked Shirley, pictured above, to give us some information about her 50 years of ministry. She responded with this below. Thanks, Shirley, and contratulations.

- Rachel Pritchett, office administrator

"My call into Christian ministry was gradual, beginning in high school, a weaving together of faith and church participation, and then a college opportunity for a liberal arts education with professors and mentors who helped me explore my vocation. By the time I graduated from college I knew I wanted to go to seminary, and began the next part of the journey at Princeton Seminary with only four other women and about one hundred men in my graduating class of 1969. 

I was ordained on September 4, 1969, by the Presbytery of Elizabeth (New Jersey), a regional body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

My first call was to the First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville, New York, near Syracuse. I moved to Springfield, Illinois, where I served the First Presbyterian Church, the congregation of Abraham Lincoln, then on to another First Presbyterian, of Barrington, Illinois, and Christ Presbyterian in Madison, Wisconsin. For several years I was an interim pastor in both Presbyterian and United Church of Christ congregations in and around Madison. I was called to serve Lake Edge Lutheran Church in Madison, one of the first ecumenically called and installed pastors in the ELCA under the 1997 full communion agreement among the ELCA, United Church of Christ, Reformed Church of America, and PCUSA. Having finally arrived in the company of Lutherans, I stayed at Lake Edge until I retired in November of 2011.

When I moved to Bainbridge in November 2012, besides finding choirs to sing with, congregations in which to supply preach, friends and neighbors to meet, a new corner of God's beautiful creation to explore, I found a home in Bethany. Yes, I am still ordained and a member of the Presbyterian Church, but the welcome and worship and mission of Bethany drew me in and keeps me here. And I am grateful. 

Thank you for sharing in this 50th anniversary of ordination, and sharing together this ministry that is still before us. 

As I have ended every sermon I have preached,  Thanks be to God. Amen."

Posted by Bethany office with