Sugar Loaf United Methodist Church
Pastor Susan Chupungco joined the Sugar Loaf United Methodist Church on July 1, 2014.
A native of California, Susan relocated to New Jersey to attend seminary at the Drew Theological School. She graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. Susan has been an assistant pastor at the Yorktown Heights United Methodist Church and she and her husband, Angelo, were married in June of 2014.
Susan loves long walks, knitting and yoga. She enjoys arts and crafts and anything that involves construction with wood, glue, scissors, nails, fabric, etc. She loves the outdoors and believes that fresh air and sunshine are two of the best things in the world.
I can’t believe it has been nearly three months since I was last in worship with you and that my maternity leave is coming to an end. While it has been 9 short weeks since Grayson came into this world, it feels as if he has been a part of our family and our lives forever.
Before Grayson was born, folks said to me that becoming a mom would change everything in my life. They said that I would want to work less, perhaps I would want to reduce my hours less than full-time, and some said that I would not want to return to work at all predicting that I would become a stay at home mom in order to care for my child full-time. Well, guess what? Folks were right! Becoming Grayson’s mom has changed everything about my life. Now that I am a mom I sleep less, I drink way more coffee than I used to, and I do a lot more laundry than ever. I have also learned that running errands with a little one in tow takes three times as long as without, that I have far more patience than I ever knew was possible, and I have discovered that my heart can hold more love than I ever imagined.
Loving as a parent has helped me understand God in new ways. While at Annual Conference, the annual gathering of United Methodist clergy in the New York area, I found myself overwhelmed with the depth of God’s love for me during our time of worship. We were singing a song by William McDowell in which we reflect on our commitment to giving our whole lives to God’s purposes. As I stood there in the auditorium with my arms outstretched in praise singing the words, “I give myself away, my life is not my own, to you I belong,” I found myself singing them not only to God but to my sweet son sleeping peacefully in the stroller in front of me. In that moment I felt my heart overflowing with love for Grayson and I realized anew God’s overflowing heart of love for me and for each one of us. With tears streaming down my cheeks I praised God for the overwhelming and unconditional way in which I am loved and I renewed my commitment to serving God and the work of bringing the experience of that love to every person I can possible share it with.
Those folks who said that everything would change when I became a mommy were right- it changed absolutely everything-but not in the ways they predicted. Instead of wanting to quit work I am even more committed to sharing God’s love with all the world. I am convinced that we as the church have important work to do to make sure that everyone knows they are a child of God, that they are loved without exception, and to make the church and the world the places that our children, nay God’s children deserve.
I look forward to returning to church, to introducing my precious son to our congregation, and to join you in doing the work that God has placed before us. Let us be in prayer together for how God will lead us to reach out into the community beyond the walls of our church, to bring God’s healing love to hearts that are hurting and broken.
In hope for the future,