Preacher to preach Good Samaritan complexities


“The story of the Good Samaritan is a well-known story that I thought I knew pretty well. I was wrong,” the Rev. Amy Miracle said.

Explaining her text as guest preacher on Sunday, June 11 in the Montreat Conference Center’s summer worship series, Miracle sees the famous Good Samaritan story not only as crucial Christian theology, but as especially relevant today. It is easy to skim the surface, because people know it so well, yet they neglect its subplots and disturbing mysteries.

Miracle is pastor and head of staff of Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio.

“It is an awesome church with a strong commitment to serving our neighbors in our urban setting,” she said. “The lay people of the church are the best thing about the church. They are energetic, gifted, and committed to the church. The leadership is willing to try new things as we figure out what it means to be the church in 2017 and beyond.

“Columbus is filled with people who are hungry for God – hungry for meaning – hungry for connection and community. That hunger is as deep as ever. I am convinced that there are people in Columbus who are looking for a church like the one I serve. How do we connect with that need? How do we connect with those who have yet to come through our doors?”

A lifelong Presbyterian, she grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and attended Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Following graduation, she studied in Northern Ireland and earned a MSSC in Irish political studies from Queen’s University of Belfast. Upon returning to the United States, she earned her MDiv from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

She has served as associate pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado, and senior pastor and head of staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, Iowa, before coming to Broad Street in 2008.

Music and the visual arts are an integral part of Sunday morning worship at Montreat Conference Center. Eric Wall, assistant professor of sacred music and dean of the chapel at Austin Theological Seminary, is conference center musician. He leads the summer volunteer choir in special music and engages the congregation in music chosen to augment the theme of the day.