Plattsburg pastor ready for next chapter after retirement

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Plattsburg pastor Curt Miner on retirement

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Pastors of Clark County Series

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As Rev. Curt Miner finishes the preparation for his final days as pastor of Plattsburg United Church of Christ, he sees this transition as joyful for the new chapter in his life and sorrow in leaving full time pastorship.

“In retirement, my wife and I want to be full-time grandparents and that involves moving to Iowa with my children,” Miner said.

Walking into his half-bare office, you will see boxes filled with books and mementos, and a now-clean cork board minus the strategically-placed pushpins which read “It is finished”; A fitting phrase to complete his 31-year pastorship that almost never happened.

Miner was born in Connecticut, but was raised primarily in Arizona. His parents were heavily involved in church, which led a 12-year-old Miner to proclaim that he would one day become a minister.

“Most kids at my age would say I want to be a doctor or a lawyer, but I knew I wanted to be a minister,” Miner said.

His assignment of ministry did not come right away as Miner honed and crafted his talents in the field of theater. After receiving his degree in theater design, Miner took the education route and became a high school drama teacher.

Life was treating Miner well. He became a husband and a father to two children and then decided to pursue his call into ministry.

His choice of Pacific School of Religion was no accident. Miner sought out a seminary that would allow him to incorporate his theater background into ways of teaching and preaching the gospel.

“I wanted theater to be a part of my ministry because it engages people,” Miner said.

After completing his theological training, Miner began pastoring in Ventura, Calif. He would move around to different churches as the need for his work increased. His longest tenure was at church in Iowa. It was after his time as pastor of a congregation in San Luis Obispo, Calif., that Miner would accept the position of pastor at Plattsburg UCC in 2012. While Plattsburg UCC was vastly different from the California life that Miner loved, it was Miner’s devotion to family and community that made his choice to come to Clark County easy. “Being at Plattsburg was like coming home to a place in which I’d never been,” Miner said. That very quote has been the keystone to his life.

As pastor of Plattsburg UCC, he brought financial stability, membership growth, the incorporation of a “blended” service, which mixes traditional and contemporary styles of worship, and a fresh ministerial perspective that included Miner’s well-known first-person sermons. These sermons involve Miner portraying a person in the bible and speaking to the congregation as if he was that person.

Miner has also made it an emphasis to be “a part of the community,” as opposed to being “apart from the community.” The church founded community dinners, concerts, and performances that brought a new life to the Plattsburg area. Miner would also serve as a theater assistant, where he would design sets for local plays and productions. Miner was also a substitute teacher in the Northeastern and Southeastern Local districts, a position where Miner could interact with youth outside of the church setting. You may even have spotted Miner donning the red and white suit of jolly old Saint Nick.

Aside from being a full time grandparent, Miner plans to write a book, a compilation of his first-person sermons. He also plans to stay connected to theater in some form or capacity.

Miner’s final service will be Jan. 1, and the following day, Miner and his wife Linda, will be moving to Cedar Rapids, IA.

Rev. Miner’s retirement goes to show that sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective, to help us find the greatness from within.