The Rev. Paul Brunner settles in at his new church, having recently  moved from Northglenn to Holyoke. — Johnson Publications

Brunner assumes pastoral role at Methodist churches

    Things are looking a bit different in the local Methodist community, with a new pastor and new Sunday morning schedules at First United Methodist Church in Holyoke and the Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church.
    The Rev. Paul Brunner recently moved to Holyoke to serve as pastor at both churches. Previously, Al and Sharon Strauss shared the responsibilities at the two churches, but when their family moved, Brunner stepped in to fill the role for both. He will be preaching in Holyoke at 9 a.m. and Pleasant Valley at 11 a.m. each Sunday.
    In his 30 years of ministry, Brunner has served in churches ranging from rural to suburban and small to very large. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, and received his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Buffalo. He later earned his master of divinity at Iliff School of Theology. Most recently he was working at Northglenn United Methodist Church, but he’s glad that the opportunity to return to a rural setting became available.
    It’s always a challenge to come into a new community, Brunner said, especially when the people are tightly knit. Knowing that, however, didn’t deter him from making the move. Al told Brunner much about the community and the churches before the transition was made, and Brunner said he liked what he heard. From the Phillips County Arts Council to the county fair to the Heginbotham Library, he was impressed by the number of things Holyoke has to offer for a town of its size.

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