The Reverend Karla Klockenteger Shaw
............................................................................................................................ “Only God knows the future of the Church and the only way for us to figure that out is to listen, pay attention, and take risks.This will require us to change at times, but where loss occurs in our community there is always the opportunity for new life. I hope to discover with you, God’s mission and vision for PLCPC as we go forward.” ............................................................................................................................
2128 Chatsworth Blvd. San Diego, CA 92107 | www.pointlomachurch.org | (619) 223-1633
As the Associate Pastor at PLCPC since 2010, Karla has distinguished herself by enacting a variety of initiatives designed to compellingly impact lives within both the congregation of PLCPC and our community. She has implemented a SERVE day that has drawn over 500 volunteers to care for our neighbors throughout San Diego, co-founded a race relations group called “Continuing the Conversation,” which is now its own non-profit 501c3 organization, and started a non-traditional, experiential Cafe Worship Service that has worked to attract youth and young families to our church. In addition to these and other endeavors, Karla has served PLCPC in her Associate Pastor role by: · Preaching and teaching on a regular basis · Engaging in pastoral counseling, care, and visitation · Coordinating discipleship of all ages and stages either through supervision of ministry directors (preschool, children, youth, older adult) or direct application (adults) · Assuming direct responsibility for the following roles on Session: local mission, personnel, worship, adult, youth, children, and preschool · Overseeing the deacon board · Leading various study groups, experiences, and classes · Performing weddings and memorials
DATE OF ORDINATION October 1, 2010, San Diego Presbytery EDUCATION Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 2004-2007 Masters in Divinity (M.Div.); Concentration in Multicultural Ministries (African-American, specifically) Messiah College, Grantham, PA, 1993-1997 Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Cum Laude; Major: Marketing/Business Administration EARLY MINISTRY EXPERIENCE Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, CA, 2008-2009 Director of University Discipleship La Canada Presbyterian Church, La Canada, CA, 2004-2008 Associate Director of High School Ministries (2006-2008) Small Group Coordinator (2004-2006) Coalition for Christian Outreach, Pittsburgh, PA, 2000-2004 Director of College and Youth Ministries
God’s Calling: Why The PNC Believes God Is Calling Karla ......................................................................................... God’s timing was perfect. He waited until we had examined hundreds of applicants before having Karla express her interest in the position. By then, we knew quite a bit about the gifts of other applicants.They were excellent, but never quite seemed to “perfectly” match our needs.The time God afforded us enabled us to discern that Karla has demonstrated, not only while serving as Associate Pastor, but also through this search process, that she is without a doubt, the one whom God has called. As a “prophet in her hometown” our vetting process of Karla was rigorous, and even more so, than if we did not know her. Nevertheless, she rose to the top. Karla is not new to our congregation, but she is an energetic, creative visionary who can now demonstrate her leadership skills as our church fulfills its desire to change, grow in faith, and regenerate. One of the adjectives most often used to describe Karla is authentic.This is a characteristic that is a high priority and necessity for a trusting relationship.We also know that Karla loves our Lord and loves our congregation.These connections will enable her to draw us into deeper faith and to support us as we go through life’s ups and downs.We also know that God has gifted Karla with preaching skills that hold our attention and inspire us. It is Karla, a collaborative leader and bridge builder, who can challenge and inspire our multi-generational congregation to subscribe to the types of new approaches and strategies called for in our Mission Study, while being mindful of the cherished nature of our many fine programs and ministries. Karla is ready for the challenge, and because she is authentic, she will be the first to tell you that she is still learning and growing.This is a sign that she will turn to God, give Him the credit, and avoid the oh-so-human trap of letting ego get in the way of serving His purposes. We truly believe that God’s hand was in this process of nominating Karla as our next Senior Pastor and Head of Staff. May we support her and each other as we discover and encounter what God has planned for us.
Karla was introduced to Christ through a small Baptist Church in rural New Jersey when she was in high school. This event changed her life and propelled her into ministry almost instantaneously. In addition to her faith, she also attended a majority African-American school. When she headed off to college, her social consciousness was awakened by the lack of people of color at her Christian university. As a result, faith and social justice have always been intertwined for her. Before entering full-time ministry in the year 2000, Karla opened a fair trade store and coffee shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, worked in wilderness education, and taught U.S. history to middle-schoolers on a traveling bus. All of these experiences have made her a more experiential ministry leader, recognizing that we all connect to God in different ways.
The Shaw Family Karla and her husband, Marc, met at Blockbuster Video in Pasadena in 2005, while they were both on separate dates. They met again a few months later at a Christian artist community called Tribe L.A. Over a bowl of lentil soup and a glass of red wine, they recognized an instant connection—laughing into the night like old friends. Two years later, they were married and will celebrate ten wonderful years together in July. Their son, Soren, was born in 2012 and life has never been the same since. After trying for several years to add a second child to their family, they decided to enter the adoption process and now prepare for the day when a new baby is graciously placed with them. A random evening in the Shaw household might include clearing out the living room furniture for a dance party and playing music together, with Marc and Soren on guitars and Karla on drums. Another favorite pastime is hiking in Mission Trails Park near their neighborhood before enjoying a meal of tacos, chips, and guacamole in their backyard.
A Bit About Marc Marc grew up as the son of a missionary/pastor in Frankfurt, Germany. He came back to the States to go to college at Seattle Pacific University, where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in both English and Psychology. Following college, he attended graduate school at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he earned his Master’s in Theology and the Arts degree. Marc worked as a high school English teacher and varsity basketball coach for eight years in downtown Los Angeles and in San Diego before moving into a position in IT Communications, which enables him to work from home and spend more time with Soren. Besides being remarkably well-cultured as a result of having spent his childhood in Europe, Marc is musically gifted with an exceptional, God-given voice. He has been the lead singer in several bands—even having a song featured on television. Besides his interest in all kinds of music, he is also a natural athlete, loves basketball, and will always be a die-hard Lakers fan. If the practicalities of life weren’t an issue, Marc would be a writer. He has recently finished authoring a book on spirituality that will be published this year. He also blogs regularly on the contemplative life at www.marcthomasshaw.com.
Marc’s Words For PLCPC
Since arriving in Point Loma, Karla and I have been showered with warmth, gratitude, and love from a group of people deeply committed to each other and to following Christ. But maybe an even better word that communicates and distills the quality of so many at PLCPC is “honor.” This is a congregation of individuals who have led honorable lives, lives of service, who seek to honor their country, honor their families, and honor Christ. It is a congregation that has honored Karla and myself in ways too numerous to recount. If Karla is given the opportunity to step into this role, I hope to continue to support the church in ways large and small, whether teaching a class during Lent, serving on the Spiritual Formation committee, leading worship at the Café service, or simply lightening the workload for Karla by taking care of some of the duties at home. As a pastor’s son myself, I’m able to support Karla by listening to rough drafts of a sermon, helping with set-up on a Sunday morning, or understanding when she needs some rest and quiet.The pastorate is emotional work; it takes a whole family to support the pastor’s work in the community they serve.
A Bit About Soren
Soren is a confident, talkative, and observant four and a half year old (he made us include the half) who loves all things Transformer and all things Jesus (someday he will make the connection between the two). As the Tuesday morning Bible study ladies will tell you, he wants to make sure everyone knows the story of Jesus changing water into wine, as it is his favorite. So, he drew this picture of the story for you. He has spent the last three years at the Red Brick Preschool, and will be attending Transitional Kindergarten in his neighborhood school in the fall.
Why Karla Feels God Is Calling Her To PLCPC Despite my activator personality, it takes me a long time to make decisions. I spend a lot of time in prayer and reflection and conversation with those that know me well before jumping into anything. So, when I entered the search process for the Senior Pastor role at the church, it was a good ten months into the process.There were several events that led to the decision to finally be considered, but ultimately, I could not come up with any more excuses not to. God was clearly leading me to engage in conversation. So, in deep faith, I asked the PNC to discern with me my role at the church, hoping the answer, one way or another, would be clear. It didn’t take long for me to move from apprehension to excitement and the more conversations we had, the more time spent discussing the person they were looking for, the more I realized I was that person. One of the main reasons I took a leap of faith is because of my love for all of you. I have served at enough churches and been on the periphery of many others to know how rare it is to have a relationship like we have with one another. I have such great respect and regard for the diversity of theologies in this congregation, the living out of true faith in community (being the Church), and the willingness to make change even when it is uncomfortable. I am spellbound by your life stories and humble practices and consider it a privilege to be invited into your journey of faith. I am effective here because you trust me and I trust you and, in today’s world, that is a rare combination indeed. In this new chapter at PLCPC, I would hope for open hearts and open minds. Only God knows the future of the Church and the only way for us to figure that out is to listen, pay attention, and take risks.This will require us to change at times, but where loss occurs in our community there is always the opportunity for new life. I hope to discover with you, God’s mission and vision for PLCPC as we go forward. I plan on spending a lot of time on leadership development, as we have so many under-utilized gifts in this congregation. I want to equip us to become a more missional congregation, so we can be the Church in our neighborhoods, places of work, and schools. I also want to continue to create worship experiences with you that help all of us connect with God in transformative ways, so we know why we are here. As my husband keeps telling me, “You are not called to be a physician for this congregation but, rather, a midwife as people are drawn deeper into faith.” Truth is, we are all midwives for one another, I hope we discover more and more what that truly means. Thank you for trusting me. More importantly, thank you for trusting God.We are doing things differently at PLCPC and there is always risk in that. In our Presbytery, I will be the only installed female Senior Pastor, and the first person in our Presbytery to ever move from Associate to Senior within the same congregation, and I have never held this position before.Yet, in all that unlikeliness, God is the one leading, and God knows our future. ............................................................................................................................
To Our Beloved PLCPC Congregation: In February 2016, you unanimously elected us as your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) and tasked us with searching for and finding our new Senior Pastor. We began our search with the guidance of Kathy Wright and Charlie MacVean, members of our Session’s Sub-Committee on Planning (SSP). We received ongoing support from both Michael Mudgett, Interim Executive Presbyter and Linda Therien,Stated Clerk, as well as Delores McNeely, our representative from the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (COM). During our search, we thoroughly studied and relied on our extremely well-researched Mission Study 2015, Change and Regeneration. Our committee remained ever mindful of the Mission Study committee’s stated prayer in Section I of Change and Regeneration that PLCPC find a Senior Pastor who will help us to maintain our strengths while encouraging us to surrender any pre-conceived ideas and traditions that might be keeping us from giving our best toward furthering His work and spreading the Gospel. As we sought and worked together to stay true to that endeavor, we were lifted up, comforted, and encouraged by your prayers, prayer cards, and prayer quilt, your kind words of support and encouragement, and our personal prayers for discernment. We were guided by our steadfast compass on this journey, the Holy Spirit. It has been an honor to serve you for the last fifteen months, which have been spent in hours and hours of meetings and personal time of research and discernment, too numerous to count, reviewing almost 200 Pastor Information Forms from interested applicants, and listening to hundreds of sermons. There were approximately twenty pastors we determined worthy of further examination. We visited their churches and engaged them in multiple in-depth telephone, Skype, and face-to-face interviews. We contacted their references, and conducted workplace behavior assessment testing and background checks. We hosted these candidates in our community and in our homes as they opened up their minds, hearts, and souls to us, sharing their ministries with us. As the months, seasons, and meetings went by, our Committee became extremely close. We supported each other with open and candid dialogue, valuing each other’s opinions and our diversity of views and perspectives. We gained a deeper understanding of the Presbyterian denomination, developed a greater appreciation of our beautiful church and congregation, and grew spiritually, as we reminded ourselves repeatedly that our efforts and striving to fulfill our mission were ultimately controlled by God. Learning to trust has been an invaluable gift that we will always carry with us. In Faith, Confidence, and Hope, Your Pastor Nominating Committee,
Elaine Burrell, John Brand, Clara Blenis, Carol Leimbach (Chair), Anne Hill, Lynn Ziegenfuss, and Mike Long Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:4-5