Pastor’s Page

The Reverend Suzanne Otterbacher Becomes Parish Associate

At its January meeting, the Session voted to make The Reverend Suzanne Otterbacher a Parish Associate.  The Committee on Ministry, acting on behalf of the Presbytery, concurred with the sessions action at its meeting on February 8, 2011. 

A Parish Associate can be an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament who is retired, but wants to maintain a pastoral relationship with a particular congregation.  A parish associate serves on an “as needed” basis and at the direction of the Pastor.

By way of a brief bio: Suzanne was born in Oklahoma and attended 14 different schools before graduating from high school in Joliet, IL.  She attended the University of Illinois where she met her husband Alan.  They have two children, Kristin (aka Ardys) and Glenn.

The family moved to Geneva in March of 1970 where Alan worked at the Experiment Station.  They were active members of First Presbyterian Church.  They returned to the University of Illinois in December of 1972 so Alan could take over research for his undergraduate advisor.

At that time Suzanne was employed as the Coordinator for Christian Education at the Presbyterian Church in Urbana while they were looking for an Associate Pastor.  After this she worked at the University Main Library as the Circulation Desk supervisor.

Suzanne started seminary at the age of 40 and was ordained on September 14, 1986.  She has served two small congregations in Illinois, as well as serving as a hospice/hospital chaplain at Carle Medical Center in Urbana, IL.  She was active at all levels of the denomination including serving as moderator of the Synod of Lincoln Trails.  She is a past member of both the American Assoc. of Pastoral Counselors and the American Assoc. of Clinical Pastoral Education.

Alan and Suzanne’s daughter, Kristin lives in New Mexico and teaches at NM Highlands University; she is not married.  Glenn is married to Debbie Layman and they live in Winston-Salem, NC, where she is the Associate Pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church and he is a Campus Minister at Wake Forest Univ.  They have (according to grandpa Alan) two exceptional sons, Benjamin 7, and Christopher 5.

We welcome Suzanne to this ministry and thank her for her willingness to serve our congregation as Parish Associate.

Peace, Jim