Jessica Shine: Open Doors and "The Gathering"
, August 19, 2008
Were it not for the creative financial work of recruiter Leticia Russell, Jessica Shine wouldn’t have taken the plunge into the life-changing atmosphere of PUC—and the PUC Church probably would have missed out on the dynamic talents of its new outreach and worship pastor.
Jessica had never attended an Adventist school, and her family didn’t regularly attend church. She was considering the Air Force after high school, as that might allow her to get into the medical field. Community college, the option chosen by most of her friends, was also a possibility. But going on a mission trip with the Hagen family and discovering that PUC had a number of scholarships to help her financially gave Jessica the vision of earning a degree from an Adventist college.
Jessica’s vision grew as she immersed herself in the experience of a Christian campus. As one of the few students in the Adventist system to serve two terms as Student Association Religious Vice President, Jessica was an innovator. In addition to her other duties and activities, she instituted two new ministries during her terms in office.
Though financial considerations posed a challenge for this theology major of humble means, Jessica found support through such scholarships as the Ernest & Alma Zinke II Scholarship. Now she looks back and advises students, “Don’t let finances be an issue for you. It’s a matter of God opening doors.”
Several years after her 2001 graduation, with youth pastoring experience in Chico and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews, Jessica returned to Angwin. She has seized the bigger challenges of helping to create “The Gathering,” the new intergenerational Sabbath morning worship experience at the PUC Church. She is also working to meld church ministries with the ministries of the campus chaplain’s office.
Jessica’s vision is to bring church members and students together through inclusive worship that focuses on a spirit of sharing and community. She hopes to provide students with an experience of a successful church family that’s meaningful and movable. “Success brings success,” says Jessica. “Once students have experienced a dynamic relationship with the church body, hopefully they’ll see how it’s possible for them to do the same in other congregations.”