Rev. Gail C. BauzenbergerPastor (Pastor)
The Reverend Gail Currier Bauzenberger
Narrative Biographical Brief
I was raised, in Oxbow, Plantation, in Aroostook County, in the State of Maine. My mother was the postmistress and Dad worked the seasons: lumbering, river drives, running sporting camps, Maine Guide. We lived in an extended family with Dad’s parents. I attended a one room school (the last one room school to close in the state of Maine). We also attended a one room community church with supply pastors from Bangor Seminary. My parents are deceased. I have two brothers: Almon and Norman Currier still living in “The County” with their families. I attended Ricker Classical Institute in Houlton, Maine and there met my husband, Edwin (Mike) Bauzenberger when he was at Ricker College. I did have a year of nurse’s training at New Hampshire State Hospital in Concord then a year of liberal arts at the University of Maine in Oreno, Maine before Mike and I started dating. We lived in Houlton, Maine after we were married until he finished college and accepted a job in New Jersey. As a housewife and mother of two children, (Ed and Melanie) I followed him during his career which took us from Millville NJ, Dover, Delaware; Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I took college classes when we were able to afford them and when we lived in college towns.
After our children were in school, I had various positions in graphic arts, sales, hospital work, and everything from Amway to Avon to help supplement our income and college bills. I finished my undergrad work at Thomas Edison State College with a degree in Psychology. During my last two years of classes, I also worked full time in Camden New Jersey at both Our lady of Lourdes Hospital as a financial counselor for Osborn Clinic from (5AM-1:30 PM) and University Medical Center, Cooper Hospital as a chaplain and Clinical Pastoral Education student (2PM- 10PM). Mike had a major heart attack and we were suddenly out of cash. Luckily, I loved the work I was doing and was able to hold that schedule for two years when I became a staff Chaplain at Cooper. I learned how to allow God to work through me and get strengthened by the Spirit of God as I worked on various units in the hospital. It was a Trauma Center and all of us were on call 24/7. The Supervisor of Chaplains, Robert Cholke became a wonderful friend to both Mike and me. It was his mentoring and encouragement that opened my heart and mind to follow the call of God and attend Seminary. It was also through his instruction that I came to know and understand the grace of God from a Lutheran perspective. I joined a Lutheran Church and started taking seminary classes on line until I was accepted as a day student at Philadelphia Lutheran Theological Seminary. The New Jersey Synod accepted and endorsed me as a Candidate for Ordination.
When it came time to fill out mobility forms, Mike and I discussed which course of action to take. He had his own business: The Currier Winn Co. Inc., at that time, based in Cherry Hill, NJ. The question we faced was: do we ask for a restricted call and hope to get a position in New Jersey or do we fill out mobility forms for unrestricted call? Mike told me that his entire career, I had followed him and that now it was his turn to follow me. And if this is truly a call from God, who are we to tell God where we want to go? The forms ask for your preferences of synods. My first preference then was the New England Synod, then NJ Synod and finally Maryland. I was picked up by the Bishop of West Virginia and served in West Virginia for 8.5 years. My first church was Zion Lutheran Church, a small rural church in Baker, WV. Three years later my Bishop asked me to do the mobility forms again because he could better use my service elsewhere in the synod. I went to Christ Lutheran in Wheeling, West Virginia. This was the church where Bishop Duncan served for about 17 years. There are many needs in a city with little hope and many problems. I loved my flock and I cared for them to the best of my ability but after 5 years realized I had a great longing to return to New England. I missed the Great North Woods and the quality of the people who live there. I have never found another place where the people were as honest, honorable, and homey. I wanted to go home while I still had time to serve the people of that homeland. With my Bishop’s blessing, but even more importantly feeling God wooing me back home, I knew God had released me from Christ Lutheran I seek one more call. God willing, I hoped it would be my last call. I wanted to put down roots and stay in one spot.
Then God pulled out a miracle. Having been told that it would be a long process, (1-4 years) and there were few openings within the New England Synod, I filled out mobility forms and submitted them to the New England Synod. I was in a whirlwind where I felt God clearing a path for me and for the church I was leaving. I submitted my paperwork in February and by June had a new call to St. Paul Lutheran Church here in Berlin. For the whole story we need to sit and have a cup of tea. It is a long difficult story. Shortly after we arrived here Mike became very ill and after about a year lost his battle with Leukemia. This was not part of our retirement plans. It has however given me a much greater understanding of grief, bereavement and ministering to those with losses. While this was a hard start-up for me and for the congregation, we have all grown through this experience. This congregation has many with great passions for serving where they are planted.
Our son Eddie is in Ashland, Maine with his wife and two children. His oldest child is currently in Sicily on an exchange student program. She resides in Michigan. Our daughter Melanie and her husband and two daughters live in Atlanta, Georgia. We keep in touch often and visit as often possible as we can.
Meanwhile, in addition to enthusiasm, compassion, preaching, teaching, visiting, and Proclamation of the Word, I have many resources to bring to a community:
- 5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education: Specialized training in hospital visitation, crisis intervention, spiritual and self awareness, active listening, and group dynamics (420 hours per unit)
- Certified for Community Emergency Response Team in Wheeling WV
- Training in Healthy Congregations: Family Systems Theory: looking at the whole family when there are crises, illness, instability in families situations all are affected not just the person who is diagnosed. Congregations also exhibit similar instabilities as our families are struggling.
- Trained in Safeguarding God’s Children (program for greater awareness of child sexual abuse, how to beware of perpetrators, checking for registered sex offenders in your own neighborhoods, etc).
- Story Telling Skills for teaching and preaching
- Congregational Assessment
- Watercolor Artist. I studied art in Philadelphia are with Mellicent Allan now pursuing the healing of art therapy and the use of creativity in the healing process.
- Training in ACT: Acceptance Commitment Therapy (a mindfulness approach to dealing with stressors in our lives)
- I love God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and long to be able to spread that love to a new group of folks so we too can grow and get excited about our relationship with God then share it with others and let the love grow.
Come Celebrate Jesus, the Spirit Who Frees Us