11:00am - 12:15pm
Second Worship Service, Sanctuary
The Reverend Kelly Sue Allen
Pastor, University Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, TX, 2009-Present
Pastor, St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England, 2007-2009
Adjunct Faculty Instructor, Eden Theological Seminary (UCC),
St. Louis, MO, first level preaching course; ministry seminar leader, 2003–2007
Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, MO, 1997–2007
Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Ste. Genevieve, MO, 1992–1997
Director of Christian Education, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA, 1990–1992
Director of Music, Clifton Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA, 1989–1990
Director of Christian Education, First Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, MO, 1987–1989 Education
Master of Arts, Politics and Religion, University of Birmingham, England, 2008
Master of Divinity, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, USA, with honors and Fuhrmann Book Prize, 1992
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, Phi Beta Kappa, 1986
Continuing Education Highlights 2008 European Mediation Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2006 “Preaching Paul” Conference, College of Preachers, National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Conference, St. Louis, MO
Church World Service Disaster Response Conference, Princeton, NJ
2003 Silent Retreat (seven days), St. David’s, Wales
Personal and Family:
Kelly is married to John Rezentes, and they are the parents of Clare, who is a high school student, and David is elementary school. Both Kelly and John, who is a secondary science teacher, grew up in the St. Louis area. They moved to Atlanta when Kelly enrolled in Columbia Theological Seminary in 1989 and returned to Missouri when Kelly accepted her first call and was ordained August 1, 1992. In 2007, after selling their house and storing most of their belongings in St. Louis, they moved into the Manse at Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, a small English village about 25 minutes outside London while Kelly pursued her degree at the University of Birmingham. John taught in a local school, and Kelly served as minister at St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church.
Statement of Faith (April 2009):
“When I was four years old my family did not go to church. I had heard something on the radio about the crucifixion of Jesus. I had heard he was a kind and loving man. When my mother explained the crucifixion to me, I cried. I couldn’t believe human beings could be so cruel, especially to a savior. Now I know that human beings can be that cruel, and the only God I can believe in is a God who is willing to enter fully into the human experience, not one who remains distant and unaffected. “I believe that Jesus Christ is God’s most profound identification with human suffering and the one who has invited me into the truest, most abundant life possible. Personally, I came to love God through the window of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Compelled and fed by this story, I then came to know God as Creator-Parent, Christ-Redeemer, and Advocate-Holy Spirit. “I believe, with Paul, that ‘the Church is the body of Christ,’ and that we are ‘individually members of it.’ I hold to the belief that this is a present reality as much as a future one. This is in no way to suggest that the Church is perfect, sinless, or even at all times wise and compassionate. In fact the institutional church has provided some of the most significant barriers to full humanity and has sometimes been the first to withhold the love of God from those who needed it most. To me, the phrase ‘You are the body of Christ’ is an invitation to embrace an identity, to bring into full growth what too often lies dormant: our identity as baptized disciples of Christ.
“The Church gathers around the sacred texts of the Old and New Testaments, joining with the great cloud of witnesses that have brought to us these narratives of Divine-human encounter. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we are shaped, comforted, challenged and inspired to recognize this Divine-human encounter in our own time. Through the sacraments of baptism and communion, we are grafted into a deep memory of grace and liberation and invited to live into the hope of the fulfillment of God’s kingdom. Nourished by the sacraments, sustained and challenged in worship, persevering in prayer, embodying good news in mission and hospitality, using gifts of individuals and the body to the full, the church is called to be a living witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This witness is to be ever expanding, in hopes that the love of God and the reconciling hope of Christ will be offered as a cup of cold water to the most thirsty of the world. “As a child of God, I feel a powerful sense that ‘nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.’ This confident hope allows me to rest in God, depend on forgiveness, use my gifts to the full, and open my life to others. Trusting that the wisdom of God is all around me, I am invited into conversation, even transformation through others who speak and live truth which comes through traditions and cultures not my own. My life is continually enriched by being part of a worshiping community and developing individual disciplines of prayer, Biblical study and meditation.”
Describing her approach to the role of pastor, Kelly notes that it is both the privilege and the responsibility to • proclaim the gospel with passion and relevance. • build community among strangers. • engage with a part (a person, committee, etc.) while seeing the whole, and engage the whole with a keen awareness of the needs, dreams, and desires of the parts.
• be a gracious host for difficult conversations.
• see children as disciples.
• be a careful, consistent reminder to the congregation that they are the Body of Christ.
Reflecting on her years’ experience in pastoral leadership, Kelly says she has
• learned to focus on creating processes that generate vision while relinquishing the need to control the outcome.
• discovered that worship and session meetings, Bible study and staff meetings, conversations in the hall and prayers in hospital rooms all hold possibilities for lives to be transformed.
• experienced interruptions, even natural disasters, as important moments of ministry.
• become very committed to leadership development, recognizing that both staff and volunteer leaders deserve to be spiritually nurtured, have their gifts used and wounds tended to, and be challenged AND inspired.
University Presbyterian Church
300 Bushnell Ave | San Antonio, Texas 78212-5334 | PH: 210-732-9927
UPCC PH: (210) 734-3035