Our Pastor Nominating Committee invites you and your family to attend church in-person on Sunday, August 6 to meet our Pastoral Candidate, Rev. Dr. Jeff Colarossi. Pastor Jeff will preach to the Congregation, and you will have a chance to meet him and his wife Jane. After the worship service, our Stated Clerk, the Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena, will moderate a congregational meeting which will a feature report from our Pastor Nominating Committee. 

Grace and peace everyone,

My wife Jane and I are very excited about being with you all in just a few short weeks. The Pastor Nominating Committee, and everyone with whom I’ve spoken, has done a wonderful job in representing the church, particularly in describing a passion for ministry that echoes my own. Thus, I truly believe that incredible possibilities exist, and that Gardens Presbyterian Church is where God is calling me to be. More than anything, I am looking forward to getting to know all of you, discovering what you love so much about the church, and what your hopes and dreams for the future might be. My primary focus will be building relationships that will form the foundation of our shared life and ministry together. For me, church is less about religion than it is about relationship—between ourselves and God, certainly, but especially with one another. 

With that said, I’d imagine that you have some questions about me such as my background, where I come from, and so forth. So here’s a little about me:

I’m a second-career pastor, which means I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was in my early forties. I worked in the auto finance business, before spending several years at car dealerships, as both a sales consultant, and as a finance manager. It was on a showroom floor where I first heard God’s call, an answer to prayer, which led me to working as a youth director for the church Jane and I were then attending in Maryland. Shortly thereafter, I began attending Gettysburg Seminary, and received my Master of Divinity degree in 2008. I was ordained in 2009, accepting my first call to the United Presbyterian Church in Pottsville PA, just down the street from the Yuengling Brewery. In 2014, I moved on to Westwood First Presbyterian in Cincinnati, OH, and earned my Doctor of Ministry degree from the Louisville Seminary in 2020, focusing on Spirituality and Aging.

On a more personal note, I was adopted when I was three months old, born in a Salvation Army hospital just outside Pittsburgh. Jane and I have been married for thirty-four years, having met in college in 1983. I am one of several members of my family who became ordained clergy and come from a long line of Italian Presbyterians dating back to the early 1900’s. I love movies, anything from Alfred Hitchcock to Monty Python, Christopher Nolan to Mel Brooks. I’m a reader by both choice and necessity. Among my favorite authors are C. S. Lewis and Bill Bryson, and I’ll read anything about the Civil War. Though I neither sing, nor play an instrument, I love music. My musical tastes run from Aaron Copland, John Coltrane, and George Winston to the Grateful Dead, Pat Metheny, Chris Stapleton, and, yes, Jimmy Buffet. Beyond that I enjoy cooking, collecting wine, a good cup of coffee, good bourbon, and spending time with our dog, a 5 year-old border collie/Australian Shepherd mix.

I believe that we have no higher goal in life than to glorify and enjoy God now and forever, living in covenant fellowship with God, and participating in God’s mission, as exemplified by Jesus Christ. I believe that we never stop growing spiritually, and that God calls us throughout our lives, even through our “graying years.” Being a pastor is not just what I do, but what I am. I will, with the Spirit’s help, serve you, every day, to the best of my ability, with energy, intelligence, imagination and love. I will remind you, as often as necessary, that “Christ is still risen!” I will proclaim the Gospel with passion and integrity. I will remain committed to teaching the faith in word and deed and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Again, I look forward to being with you—may God bless each of you richly—now and always!

Yours in Christ,