Pastor will retire this month

DOWNEY - After almost 40 years of pastoral service with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Dr. Richard R. Kurrasch, for the past four years senior pastor at Downey Memorial Christian Church, has announced his retirement effective Jan. 31.He will deliver his farewell sermon at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday. A reception will follow in Robinson Hall. During his years here, Kurrasch participated in his church's, to use his own words, "transformation efforts to create an effective outreach to a culturally diverse community." He also takes pride in guiding his church's year-long Jubilee (50th) Anniversary celebration which culminated in May 2008 in a special luncheon that brought together current and former members, including founding members. DMCC was established in Downey in l958 at or near the apogee of the local aerospace industry. Born in South Dakota but raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Westchester, Kurrasch obtained his bachelor's in psychology from UC Riverside, a master's in divinity from the Bethany Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Claremont School of Theology. Among his formidable skill set is a strong literary streak, and he says he definitely will do some writing: "I'll do some reflecting on what the last 40 years has meant to me." There is no paucity either in the things that interest or concern him: environmental issues including climate change, sustainable economies, etc.; interfaith dialogue; peace and justice. He says he wants to work more closely with the Progressive Christian Theology movement, one of whose strongest proponents is Dr. John Cobb, who for many years taught at the School of Theology at Claremont. He will remain active in the region, he says. Kurrasch says he'll be leaving DMCC in the "very capable and experienced" hands of his trilingual assistant pastor, Annica Terrones, who came aboard six months ago, and who's had extensive pastoral experience in Peru as well as a rich ministerial network in the Los Angeles area. A Downey Rotarian for three years, Kurrasch says: "I feel very privileged to have lived a life that I love."

********** Published: January 22, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 40