About Rev. Forsythe
Larissa received her B.A. in Fine Arts at Western Carolina University (North Carolina) with a concentration in theater. She went on to get her M.F.A. in Acting at Lindenwood University (Missouri). She spent ten years acting and teaching in the professional theatre scene in the St. Louis area before being called to ministry. She then studied at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis and graduated in 2014 with a Master of Divinity Degree. She is currently the Associate Minister at South Church in South Glastonbury, CT, just outside of Hartford.
A few highlights from her time at South Church:
In 2018, she worked with several folks in the congregation to establish a mental health ministry that has hosted educational events, book studies, panel discussions and more. Each March, the ministry highlights the importance of supporting folks experiencing mental health challenges through testimony, liturgy, and preaching.
In 2019, she was instrumental in South Church’s decision to become a founding member of a new faith community organizing group called Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA). Under her leadership, South Church, in partnership with over 50 other faith institutions that make up GHIAA, has been instrumental in a number of policy changes that have improved the lives of people living in the Greater Hartford region, particularly those who have been marginalized by unjust systems.
In March of 2020, she and three other clergy in Glastonbury worked with the Glastonbury School district to serve the rising number of families experiencing food insecurity due to the pandemic. They hosted a food drive that collected over 500 bags of food then organized the distribution of the food to folks in need. That effort grew into what is now a town wide organization called Glastonbury Links Together which includes many area faith communities and service organizations as well as representatives from the school system and town social services. They opened Glastonbury’s first self-select food pantry last February and have expanded the town’s backpack program, sending a weekend’s worth of food home with kids who might not otherwise have a meal.
In the UCC ministerial profile that all candidates submitted to our search committee, one question every candidate was asked is what they are passionate about. Pastor Larissa answered this way.
I am passionate about The Way of Love as modeled by Jesus of Nazareth - a Way that is always evolving, always calling us deeper, always asking more of us even as it gives more to and for us.
I am passionate about the ongoing conversation between God and God's people as we try to discern what it looks like to faithfully follow The Way in a particular time and place. The Way is not a task to be accomplished, a virtue to be demonstrated, or a doctrine to be memorized. The Way is a commitment, a way of living, being, seeing, and growing.
I am passionate about watching, listening, and feeling God's Spirit work in and through The Church - using our gifts and our shortcomings, healing our wounds even as we learn to be a healing presence for others, and calling us out of our comfortable spaces and towards transformation - of the world and our own hearts, minds, and spirits.
The participation of Epiphany members during candidate weekend is critical. I sincerely hope to see you in church this weekend!