BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Vicar Morris Mayer was ordained as a pastor at Village Lutheran Church on Sunday, Jan. 25.
Mayer grew up in the Jewish faith and attended Hebrew school from elementary until high school. He was also enrolled for a short time in rabbinical high school.
Morris came to the Christian faith as an adult through the ministry of Village Lutheran Church. In the fall of 2012, Morris enrolled in the Specific Ministry Pastor program via distance learning through Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
SMP students take two years of distance training while serving as vicars, are then ordained, and finally complete their studies with two more years of distance training. After his ordination and installation Mayer will begin serving VLC in the specific ministry of a staff pastor. He is scheduled to complete the SMP program in the summer of 2016.
“Morris is our congregation's first pastor to have been trained via distance education from our seminary in St. Louis," said the Rev. Robert Hartwell, senior pastor of Village Lutheran Church.
In the program students take online courses and meet weekly with a mentor for one-on-one discussion of the curriculum.
Mayer is also the owner/operator of Plaza Park Interiors, a local drapery and upholstery shop in Yonkers. He will be a pastor in the worker-priest model as he continues to operate his business and serve the church on a part-time basis as an SMP adjunct pastor.
“Of course, there is no such thing as a ‘part-time’ pastor," Mayer said, speaking of the dual nature of his vocation. "Like all clergy, I will always be open to helping others and sharing God’s love, not just after working hours.
“I am so grateful to Village Lutheran Church for their support, both financial and emotional, to help me reach this moment, and I am so excited to be in ministry to this community," said Mayer.
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