We are thrilled to welcome the Rev. Tedd Pullano as our new Associate Pastor for Congregational Care and Outreach! Tedd has been a pastor for 15 years, serving at Holley Presbyterian Church, New Life Presbyterian Church, and most recently at Ogden Presbyterian Church. Tedd holds a Bachelor degree in English from Binghamton University and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School. Tedd had a multi-faceted career before the ministry, as well, working in construction, restaurant management, finance, and human services. These experiences continue to inform his work today.
Eventually we will all have the opportunity to get to know Tedd more fully. In the meantime, he graciously gave an interview so we can glimpse a little peek into the life of the newest member of Third Church staff.
What’s your favorite hymn? Favorite Bible passage?
My favorite hymn changes regularly! Currently it’s “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” This hymn was the theme for the last Triennium and the phrase “here’s my heart Lord, come and take it” has reverberated in my soul ever since. I do tend to listen to lots of contemporary praise music (yeah, I said that).
As for Bible verses, I have so many favorites. In this moment, Genesis 12:1-4a springs to mind. To me it describes the heart of the life of faith. In it God blesses Abram and his family, not just for Abram’s sake, but so that he can bring God’s blessing to all the world. And Abram goes without question, debate, or even knowing where he’s going. Pretty much sums up the call on each of our lives.
Tell us one of your favorite early memories of church.
I grew up Roman Catholic and getting asked to read during Mass at Assumption Church in Fairport as a young boy was unexpected and thrilling.
Who’s in your immediate family?
My amazing wife of 32 brilliant years, Kathy, who is a Physical Therapist for Rochester Regional Health Home Care and a Clinical Instructor at Nazareth College in their PT program. I also have 3 children: Emma, 27, a 5th grade science teacher in Springfield, MA teaching at the MLK Jr. Charter School; Tess, 25, a second year Med student at Jacobs Medical School in Buffalo; and John, 21, going into his senior year as a Journalism major at Saint Bonaventure University. We also have two black-lab-mix rescue dogs, Harrison and Oliver.
What’s your favorite movie/TV show? Or what are you currently watching? Or what are you currently reading?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I was a big fan of Game of Thrones. I love watching sports! I’m currently reading How to be Anti-Racist and Caste.
Where are you most likely to be found when you’re not working?
Outside – running, hanging out with family, working in the yard, gardening. Or in the kitchen doing dishes.
What excites you about coming to Third Church?
The opportunity to join the amazing folks here doing fantastic work. I have long admired Third Church for its stance on social justice and its action in outreach programs, and I’m excited to join this team addressing issues that are important to me and, I believe, important to our Creator. I am super-excited to jump in with both feet!
What do you hope to be/do during your ministry here?
In my role in Congregational Care, I hope to help people connect to the Divine, find healing and comfort in the Creator, and know how deeply they are loved. I believe that if people realize they are loved deeply and passionately, they are better able to go and love others. As 1 John says: “we love because he loved us first.”
In my role in Outreach, I hope to help Third Church continue building relationships and partnerships in the community, so that we can eliminate poverty in Rochester. I also hope we can be a partner in dismantling structures that oppress people. That’s just the first year!
Is there anything else you want us to know about you?
I come from a big Italian-Irish family and I love community, love to hug and laugh. Also, I feel called to be at Third Church at this moment; I believe we are in a holy and sacred time.