Rev. Melodye Surgeon VanOudheusden
I love Broadway show tunes. One of my favorites is from the musical “The King and I:”
Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you
Getting to like you
Getting to hope you like me . . .
We are getting to know each other. I DO have more names and faces to learn than you do but learning about each other is a process that will take time, energy and patience on both of our parts.
Some basic facts: I was raised on an apple orchard in southern Illinois, just a little north of the St. Louis Missouri area. I am a “third career” pastor with professional experience in education and in office support/management before I finally gave in to God’s call to pastoral ministry.
I attended Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston IL) and Trinity Theological College (Singapore) receiving my Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical in 1996. I was ordained as Deacon in 1994 and as elder in 2005, both in the West Michigan Conference.
I served churches in Singapore and Indonesia and returned to the United States in 2002 to continue in ministry here in Michigan.
John VanOudheusden and I married just last September after a seven-year courtship. I am the mother of three children through adoption: Kara (Indonesia), Harrison (Cambodia) and Jon (China). Kara is married to Alex Lewis and is a music therapist working in Jackson MI. Harrison is living nearby, here in Monroe. And our family lost Jon earlier this year; his life ended through suicide. I miss him every day.
You will soon discover that I love chocolate, Asian and other spicy foods, history of all types, comparative religion studies and any kind of travel. I am a true nerd, reading anything that I can find in print or on a screen. (I actually LIKE sermon preparation!)
As we get to know each other, hopefully we will move beyond “liking” each other to becoming true sisters and brothers in Christ. I am excited to learn more about each of you and this welcoming congregation!