Local Church Welcomes Reverend Wendy Holland
– Plymouth Congregational Church, located in downtown Paso Robles, recently welcomed a new Senior Pastor. Reverend Wendy Holland was hired in August after a nationwide search for a new pastor. The move to Plymouth Congregational Church (PCC) is a homecoming for Holland returning to her childhood home on the central San Diego coast, where she worked for 15 years in ministry.
Holland holds his Masters of Divinity from the Claremont School of Theology. Ordination was not always in her sights, but Holland has been involved in the leadership of the church from early adulthood. His path, however, was less conventional.
âI have resonated with Jesus’ message of love and sacrifice for as long as I can remember,â she said, âBut when I realized that Christianity was often represented by people and agendas that clashed with Jesus’ priorities – things like grace, inclusion, and caring for the poor – it gnawed at me.
She says this motivated her towards more intense study, in order to better understand these priorities. and the more she learned, the more she wanted to share that hope with others.
âI have been extremely blessed to learn and to serve and to commune with a very diverse group of leaders and believers,â she said, âI am so encouraged that we do not have to agreeing on everything – or even all the great things – valuing and caring for each other.
Holland notes that the real job of following Jesus “is to love our neighbor in a way that extends faith and focuses on God and one another, rather than on oneself.” She sees this combination of unity and diversity in her new home church, noting that Plymouth is a safe
space, and that the invitation to get involved is accompanied by a real welcome and inclusion.
âWhen we are committed to the gospel, God always does something new in our lives, and that is rarely what we expect,â she said, âBut as a friend recently said, we do not seek to change anyone. It is the work of God. We just want you to be a part of what’s going on here.
Holland grew up in the nearby town of Arroyo Grande and is delighted to be returning to San Luis Obispo County. She is accompanied by her 16-year-old daughter, Isabelle. Her 21-year-old son Donovan is in his final year at San Diego State University. She succeeds Acting Pastor Alex Dreese, who led the congregation during the interim period and led the pastoral research team. The previous senior pastor in Plymouth was Reverend Steven Mabry, who retired in March 2020 after serving the congregation for 15 years.
Pastor Wendy invites everyone to attend the annual Christmas Eve candlelight service at 5 p.m. on December 24, which is always a special and memorable service at Plymouth Church. Plymouth Congregational Church meets in person for worship on Sundays at 10 a.m. (indoor masking as long as the state mandate is in place), followed by fellowship (indoor and outdoor options are available ). Weekly church services are recorded and available online and on their YouTube and Facebook pages. More information can be found at www.plymouthchurchpaso.com.