Rev. Bonnie Scott felt no hesitation, had no second thoughts. The moment she heard “Trinity United Methodist Church” she knew.
“This was the one, this is where I was called to be,” she smiled.
It’s her first assignment as a senior pastor.
Rev. Bonnie came to Trinity from Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church in Eldersburg, Md., where she served as associate pastor for three years. Before that she was in seminary. She graduate in 2011 summa cum laude with a master’s of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. She was ordained in the spring of 2014.
Rev. Bonnie started serving at Trinity on Jan. 1, 2015. She has enjoyed getting to know the congregation, “most especially their boisterous passing of the peace time in worship, and hearing the faith stories of individual members.”
“I’m impressed with the warmth of the congregation and look forward to welcoming new people into the community,” she said.
Rev. Bonnie draws on three events in her life as the primary sources of inspiration for her ministry: her baptism, her power of speech, and her talent for craft. “At the intersection of these gifts, I find my identity and life’s vocation as pastor-preacher,” she said.
She tells of her baptism, which occurred so early in life that she has no recollection of it. “I was four months old when Pastor Wayne DeHart drew three wet crosses on my forehead, whispering, ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’ As I grew, those hands through which I passed at my baptism would become my family,” she said.
“They would hold my tears and make space for my quirks. They would teach me of Christ, tell me the most compelling story I have ever heard. By age 15, I knew I wanted to give my life to that story and that family — the church.”
Rev. Bonnie’s mother was a school librarian who animated children’s stories through lively and imaginative readings. Rev. Bonnie recalls bedtime stories of Anansi the Spider and Strega Nona in the voice of her mother. In high school, she discovered a natural gift and love of public speaking. This was the second influential event.
“I was never chatty, but chose my words carefully and tried to speak with honesty,” she said. “Many teachers and pastors nurtured my penchant for storytelling and the power of my spoken word.”
The third event occurred on Christmas morning when she was four. Her parents gave her a Stanley Junior toolbox with a real set of screwdrivers, two saws, and a hammer, suitable for ages 10 and up.
“My parents knew what they were doing,” she said. “My dad was a woodworker and taught me the basics — how to hold a handsaw, how to pound a nail — and set me loose with his scrap-wood pile. I may have been the only little girl in town who could change the blade on a coping saw.
“I am grateful that my parents taught me the patience and beauty of craft, that I grew up in a home where someone was always about the work of creation.”
Rev. Bonnie offers her talents for teaching, working with young adults, discipleship formation, and communication. When she steps up to the pulpit, however, it becomes crystal clear that she’s living out her calling. She lights up. And she holds the congregation entranced.
“The church teaches me the basics and sets me loose in the scripture where the Holy Spirit inspires me to carefully and imaginatively shape a word for the people,” she said.
“I love preaching because the story of Jesus forms a certain type of community, and Christian community is the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.”