As interim pastor at West Newton United Presbyterian Church, Arthur Seaman said after 42 years' experience leading congregations he knows the most difficult part.
“The hardest thing about being a pastor that's an interim is that I've got to learn 200 names,” he joked.
Seaman of Kittanning has led the church since Oct. 1 while a permanent pastor is sought out.
Seaman earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the College of Wooster, a master's degree in divinity from Hartford Seminary and a doctorate in education from Illinois State. He and his wife Mary have two adult sons.
He has been retired for five years, but this is his third interim position since officially ending his tenure at Grace Presbyterian Church in Kittanning.
As his first position in Westmoreland County, he has appreciated the welcome he has received from the church's members, he said.
“They are very friendly,” Seaman said. “I'm here to maintain things while they're searching for a new pastor.”
Pastor Alan Riethmiller of Christ Lutheran Church, president of the West Newton Association of Churches, said he has met Seaman at two of the group's meetings.
“He does make himself visible,” said Riethmiller. “A very fine gentleman. From what I hear, everyone is happy with his presence.”
Seaman said he is especially glad to be leading holiday services, a Christmas Eve family service at 7:30 p.m. and a candlelight service at 11 p.m., in West Newton.
“At Christmas services, so many family members are together,” he said. “It's really a festive time.”
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-836-6660.
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