Rev. Beth Stotts joined Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ as Preacher and Teacher in August of 2012. She grew up in Northern Indiana, graduated from Hanover College with a double major in Sociology and Studio Art, and went on a life-changing three-month road trip promptly after graduation. From there she spent time living in Kansas, then Chicago, prior to moving to Boston for her graduate education in Theological Research. While in grad school she held her first position in ministry at the Second Church in Newton (United Church of Christ) as the Youth Minister, then as their Director of Christian Education. Upon completing graduate school, she moved to North Carolina to teach in the Philosophy & Religion Department at Western Carolina University where she also worked as the International Student Advisor.
After several years at WCU, she discerned a call to ministry and began working toward her Masters of Divinity degree and ordination. During this time she worked as a chaplain at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Trauma Intensive Care Unit. She credits her work as a chaplain as the most formational experience in her ministry. Following her time at the hospital, Beth spent the next three years working as an Intentional Interim Associate Pastor at a church in North Carolina with a focus on Faith Formation and Development, and as a Campus Minister at Guilford College.
Rev. Beth enjoys yoga (but not the hot yoga. Yuck!), reading (mostly religious texts but also young adult fiction), playing music (ukulele, bari sax, recorder, drums…), listening to music (Andrew Bird, Cake, Ben Folds, The Mountain Goats, Pavement, Laura Veirs, Matt Pond, The Grateful Dead), writing (letters, thank you notes, sermons, newsletter articles, reports), visiting breweries (and sometimes having bible studies in them), and dancing (in the kitchen, in the car, in the shower). She is married to Eric, a property manager, and they have two children, Jae and Josephine.
You can reach her by calling the church office at 508-697-6016, or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Beth's Testimony
Imagine a family in the 1980s with three kids and two moms. Imagine the oldest kid had severe disabilities and used a wheelchair. This family was culturally outcasted, two times over, once for homosexuality, and the other for disability. Now imagine that family attended a church where they were not shunned or ridiculed or criticized. Instead, they were welcomed and loved and accepted, just as they were.
That was my family. And I, as the youngest child, grew up understanding that the love of Christ, the love Jesus taught us, has no outcasts. I grew up loving God and I grew up to become a big nerd for God and for the church. I attribute much of who I am as an adult, as a Christian, and as a minister to growing up in a church where I felt loved. Where God’s love for me was real and tangible and unwavering. My family was loved and accepted and nourished just as all families should be. Welcomed to Christ’s community.
This is my story of being an outcast, and of a loving God and a Christian community holding me and supporting me in the ways of Jesus. I know that I am not alone. Each of us has a story of being an outcast and each of us has a story of God’s abounding grace enveloping us, saving us from the powers of humanity that try so very much to harden our hearts. Each of us has a narrative that we carry with us about that which sets us apart from the cultural norm, those who’ve treated us well, and those who haven’t. There is a saying that people won’t remember what you say or do but they will remember how you made them feel. This is the case with the Christian church. Our love, the love that comes from God, through us and into the world should be palpable to those around us.
Through the scriptures we are told of our responsibility to call one another to faithfulness and to be true to who we are as followers of Jesus. If we remember who we are as followers of Jesus, if we live in love and mercy and forgiveness, then we already know how to live. Paul asks us to “shine the light of the gospel on every situation and then to listen for how God is still-speaking”.
My testimony, the story of who I am in Christ, is about taking a look at who we consider as "less than" and challenging us to ask, "How can I change my thinking to accept this person or these people as a brother/sister in Christ? Furthermore, how am I to set an example of mercy, love, kindness, and acceptance to those around us the way God does?”