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By Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY – United Methodist Pastor Shannon Mattison thought she was retiring this past June after serving churches in Boyceville, Prairie Farm, and Wheeler for the past three and three quarter years. However, the bishop sent her a text message, “would you consider something part time?” She replied yes and the next thing she knew she was assigned to the Glenwood City/Downing parish, which is a part time position. Technically she’s considered retired but she came out of retirement to serve. She didn’t really feel retired as her new assignment started on July 1st after the other one ended on June 30th.
Pastor Shannon states that you usually don’t get reassigned so close to your last position but things are different now. One reason being a shortage of clergy.
Pastor Shannon started her career in the ministry later in life and it wasn’t until she was in her 40’s that she first started the process to become a pastor. She stated that as Pastors they are supposed to watch and listen and recommend people for the clergy. She goes on to say that she felt called as a teenager to be involved in ministry but at that time she got no encouragement or acknowledgement from her then pastors who all happened to be males. She said that they were only looking at boys.
“I remember the first time I had a female pastor where I grew up, it was like are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Well it’s too late now but then things happen along the way.”
Previous to attending seminary, Pastor Shannon had been involved in the church, teaching Sunday School and she worked as an interim with youth and she worked with adults as an interim position. She would also act as a lay preacher from time to time.
Originally she had no intention of going up in front of people to speak. “Not at all…When I started into seminary, I had a few people come up and say, well it’s about time.” People that she worked with and even some relatives weren’t surprised when she decided to go to seminary. Pastor Shannon found it interesting that people foresaw this.
Her first placement for the United Methodist Church was at Maiden Rock / Ono. Before that she actually had a paid internship in Clear Lake for an ELCA (Lutheran) church. She was in Maiden Rock for six years before being placed in Boyceville.
For now Pastor Shannon is getting to know her parishioners and hoping that they get to know her. She has no big changes planned for the churches. One thing she definitely wants to continue is the Blue Christmas service at the Downing church. She notes that this is a passion for her. She feels this is a way community can come together and hopes that others, not just Methodist will come to, if they feel the need for such a service.
One thing that she may try in the future is a Narnia Party (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). This would be something for adults and kids. “It definitely has a message. It would have lessons in it but also fun to do.”
One thing that she does miss is getting together with the other pastors in the community once a month or every other month. In the past she has seen how the pastors and churches working together have gotten some amazing things done. Something she may consider trying to start in this area, time will tell.
Pastor Shannon currently lives in New Richmond. She isn’t using the parsonage stating that trying to keep up two houses was just too much. She enjoys that she is able to come home to her cat, Cookie every night and spend more time with her family.
Her family consists of three daughters, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Pastor Shannon states that she is still trying to combine two households but when that is done she hopes to have more time for quilting. She remarks “I’m beyond beginner but not an expert,” in reference to her skill as a quilter. She also notes that she has given away more quilts than she has kept.
She also enjoys baking and cooking, especially with her grandkids.