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Cass United Methodist has new pastor

Published 7:07pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cassopolis United Methodist Church has a new pastor.

The Rev. Benjamin David Bras

And while his title may say he is part-time, the Rev. Benjamin David Bras will be serving the church full-time.

“Part-time means that I get my full benefits and they pay half of my salary which is designated by the denomination,” Bras said. “They use what they call modules, which translates into hours. They recommend so many modules per week of how you spend your time.”

The Rev. Bras said he will try to be in the church building at least one full day, which could be split by one morning and one afternoon. Another day will be spent out visiting the sick and shut-ins and because he is new to the congregation, he will also be visiting members who are not currently in Florida.

Yet another day will be spent at home studying and getting out and getting to know the people of Cassopolis.

“By part-time, it should read I am the pastor, but I am only here (at the church) part-time,” Bras said.

The Rev. Bras will conduct his first service Sunday at 10 a.m. He is looking forward to seeing the pews filled with worshipers.

“I’m excited and a little nervous because the liturgy is sometimes different,” he said. “You get so used to habit that you know what comes next. I will need to work on what comes next and who says what. That makes me nervous.

“However, there have been a couple local painters painting the parsonage and they have been inviting people and have been out around town inviting people to come and meet the new pastor. So I am excited for that and having new people in the church. But also, there are people who may not typically come, but they want to see the new pastor and to see what he has to say.”

The Rev. Bras added that there will be people from Keeler and Silver Creek United Methodist churches coming to the service to support him. He spent time filling the pulpit at both churches while he was based in Grand Rapids.

The Rev. Bras graduated from Kuyper College in Grand Rapids with a bachelor’s degree in social work. He also received a master’s of divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a master’s in social work from Loyola University. He is currently working on a master’s of theology from the Chicago Theological Seminary.

In addition to his academic credentials, the Rev. Bras’ talents include playing the pipe organ and piano.

One of his goals is to eventually have all of the members of his church sit down and have a meal with him.

“People are always welcome into my home,” Bras said. “They are always welcome at the dinner table. There is always a place for people.”

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