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New pastor on altar at Potsdam’s First Prebyterian


POTSDAM - The congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Potsdam is happy to announce the arrival of their new pastor, the Rev. Deborah Packard, who presided over her first Sunday service on Feb. 24.

Everyone in the community is invited to share worship and to meet the new pastor following any upcoming service.

Worship will return to the main sanctuary at 10 a.m. Palm Sunday, March 24. It will be preceded by the annual Palm Sunday Pancake Breakfast in the Church Community Center. Food will be served beginning at 8:15 a.m. All are welcome to attend.

Easter Sunday service will be held at 10 a.m. March 31

The Rev. Packard was born in New Jersey and has lived in New York City, Atlanta, Budapest, Hungary and Rochester. Most recently she has pastored a church in the “enchanted mountains” of Ellicottville, a ski resort town south of Buffalo. A graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, she is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Music was her first calling. In response to that call she began her college career as a voice performance major at the Oberlin Conservatory. From there she went to New York City, where she learned she didn’t want to live the life of the starving artist. Instead, she got a master’s degree at NYU in music therapy.

That was all interrupted by marriage and the birth of her two children. She feels blessed to have been able to spend her children’s young years as a mother as she considers her children to be the greatest gift of her life. Today, her daughter is writing her dissertation for her PhD from Tufts while she lives in Brussels with her husband, who is working at the American International School of Brussels.

Her son, while pursuing his life’s dream of being an actor, keeps a roof over his head by bartending.

Having recently moved to Potsdam, she is still acclimating to the north country with her wire-haired dachshund, Chloe. Together they are exploring and learning about their new home.

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