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Pastor`s Corner

Pastor Eric Anderson

Pastor Eric Anderson

The Rev. Eric S. Anderson began serving as pastor of Church of the Holy Cross in April 2016, providing worship leadership, spiritual nurture, pastoral care, and community engagement to the congregation – and, of course, a handlebar moustache.

Before coming to Hilo, he served as Associate Conference Minister for Proclamation, Identity, and Communication for the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ, working from its headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. Over seventeen years, he rose from part-time editor of its newspaper to oversight of its communications ministry, implementing the transition to Internet based communications using text, still images, audio, and video.

Born in Middletown, Connecticut, to Lynn and Maren Anderson, he grew up in nearby Vernon, Connecticut, where his father was an educator in the public schools. His father lives now in Southwick, Massachusetts; Maren Anderson died in 1983. Eric received his A.B. degree in Theatre Arts from Cornell University in 1985 and his M.Div. degree from Andover Newton Theological School in 1988.

Ordained in 1988, he began his ministry by serving two congregations: the First Congregational Church UCC of Mechanic Falls, Maine, and the neighboring Oxford Congregational Church UCC. He returned to Connecticut in 1993, and took up a series of interim calls: First Congregational Church UCC in Meriden, Connecticut; Oxford UCC in Oxford, Connecticut; Seymour Congregational Church UCC in Seymour, Connecticut; and Center Congregational Church UCC in Torrington, Connecticut.

Also in 1993, he launched a private Information Technology consulting business with the goal of supporting the ministry of local churches. This coincided with the emergence of the World Wide Web as a communication platform, and his work in this area led to his expanding responsibilities with the Connecticut Conference.

Rev. Anderson has two adult children: Brendan, born in 1992, and Rebekah, born in 1995. Brendan currently lives in Boston, and Rebekah is a student at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Rev. Anderson is one of three ministers in his immediate family – he is the youngest of the three and has been ordained the longest. After retiring from the public schools his father, the Rev. Lynn Anderson, completed his M.Div. degree and served three churches as an interim pastor. While attending seminary, his father met and married a fellow student, the Rev. Shirley Anderson, who retired just a few years ago after serving two UCC churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Other Interests
In addition to sermons, spiritual reflections, and the occasional news story, Rev. Anderson writes poems and music for enlightenment (and for fun). He plays six and twelve-string guitar and has begun practicing the ukulele. He and a friend, the Rev. Paul Bryant-Smith, have performed as “Boys in Hats” for twenty years, sharing their love for folk music of America and the British isles.

As well as music, he enjoys creative photography, exploring cuisines, walking in nature’s beauty, and settling down with a good book (in addition to the Good Book).

“God has been extraordinarily good to me,” he says,” to bring me to Church of the Holy Cross, and see the love of God expressed so joyfully in a place of such astonishing beauty.”

Pastor’s Corner Reflections

The Pastor’s Corner” is a regular feature of The Messenger  newsletter.

Pastor’s Corner: Overwhelmed

Published on
September 4, 2019 Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I have. I wish I were better at handling it. Fortunately, I cope better than I used to (given some of my catastrophic failures to adapt, that may not be saying much). There are a few things I know: First, it doesn’t do a lot of good…
Categories: Pastor's Corner Reflections
Tags: Resilience

Pastor’s Corner: Difficult Times

Published on
August 21, 2019 We’ve known for a while that these are difficult times. How will we live in them? I will be working with the church boards to create some times when we can share what we know of how to live with challenges. We have a lot of wisdom in our congregation, and we…
Categories: Pastor's Corner Reflections
Tags: Resilience

Pastor’s Corner: When It Hurts

Published on
August 7, 2019 What do we do when someone says, “it hurts”? Of late, and over my lifetime, I think I’ve seen four basic responses. The first is to say, “I’m sorry. I won’t do this thing that hurts you any more. I might even help you repair the harm I’ve done.” A second is…
Categories: Pastor's Corner Reflections
Tags: Apology, Pain

Pastor’s Corner: The Best Moment of General Synod

Published on
July 17, 2019 Last issue, I wrote about one of the more painful parts of June’s General Synod of the United Church of Christ. Today, I’ll tell you about my favorite moment. It was not, I admit, anywhere on the meeting’s agenda. In fact, it didn’t happen in the plenary hall, or one of the…
Categories: Pastor's Corner Reflections
Tags: GeneralSynod, Generations, Leadership, Transitions

Pastor’s Corner: Hard Conversations

Published on
July 3, 2019 How do we talk about things when the topic is hard? At last week’s General Synod of the United Church of Christ, we saw this question arise more than once. People in the Church don’t always agree about everything (I’m sure that’s no surprise to anyone), and sometimes deeply held values conflict…
Categories: Pastor's Corner Reflections
Tags: GeneralSynod

How to reach Pastor Eric:

Office Phone: 935-1283
Home Phone (forwards to cell): 464-4884
Cell Phone (from cell phone or for text messaging): 203-215-9054
Twitter: @esanderson

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Service Times & Directions

Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283