MINISTER IN RESIDENCE AT HOME AT BLUFFTON
Even before arriving on campus Jan. 18 as a minister in residence, the Rev. Janice Yordy Sutter felt at home at Bluffton University.
Having formed friendships over the years with Louise Matthews, director of Bluffton’s Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center; Jeff Boehr, assistant campus pastor for church relations; and campus pastor Stephen "Tig" Intagliata, Sutter had already come to see what Bluffton was all about.
"Bluffton has a great gift," said Sutter, who befriended Boehr at conferences and met Intagliata at seminary in Indiana. "Professors really care about their students’ gifts and abilities and really help students discover those gifts themselves—that is beautiful."
Among other activities during her three days on campus, Sutter, pastor of worship and preaching at Kern Road Mennonite Church in South Bend, Ind., attended classes and presentations by staff, and met with faculty, students and President’s Cabinet.
The Chicago native is familiar with the worries and stresses of college life. Experience gained through her master’s degree and seminary programs taught the 1979 Goshen College graduate to never stop seeking the Lord’s plans for her life, as well as remembering to reach out to others for help.
In her chapel message on Jan. 20, Sutter recalled that during her senior year at Goshen, a professor who was walking with her to class suddenly remembered she was a senior. Sutter, full of apprehension, said it was hard to believe. The professor simply said, "You’re ready."
"I don’t remember anything else we talked about that day, but I remember those two words," the pastor explained, using the story to remind Bluffton students how much they are valued by faculty and fellow students like.
The pastor said she saw ministry as an option early on but admits it took her a few years and several internships to realize it was her calling. When living in Nebraska after marrying her husband, Dave, the local church took her under its wing and supported her as she grew into the role that would later become her career.
Today, with two young adult children and co-pastoring with her husband, Sutter’s job is also one of her biggest joys. "It’s more than a job to me," she said.
Ariel Shuey, public relations office, 1/25/11