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Profile: Pastor Neil Margetson

Pastor Neil (Photo: Sunnyside Post)

Dec. 14, 2009 By Christian Murray

Sabine Heinlein, an award-winning Sunnyside journalist, is starting a series of interviews with the people who make up the tapestry of the neighborhood.

For her first profile, she spoke to Pastor Neil Margetson who was installed as the minister of Sunnyside Reformed Church on the corner of Skillman Avenue and 48th Street on March 22, 2009.

At age 58, this is Pastor Neil’s first ministry. Having been raised in a household where he never went to church or read the Bible, he studied Anthropology at Columbia University. He looks back on a long career as a research analyst, including a position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He discloses that he encountered some problems in his life but was rescued by “divine intervention” and, as a result, turned to ministry.

“One of the things that surprised me most about active ministry is the number of people who use their minister for therapy,” the pastor says. “There seems to be a desire, a hunger to have somebody to talk to when you feel overwhelmed, who is not going to be overwhelmed by what you have to say.” He encounters much “ennui” and discouragement due to unemployment among young people. Some 20-somethings, he says, are caught up in a web of drugs and petty crime.

Many of his 45 active and committed members who help finance the church want to see new faces. Paradoxically, though, they also want the church to remain the same. “But you are never going to bring in new people unless you make changes,” Pastor Neil expresses the dilemma.

To listen to the podcast with Pastor Neil Margetson click on “Pastor Neil Podcast” link.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Joan LeLacheur

I am an old friend…I saw you and Gretchen on the beach in Aquinnah last summer.
I’m writing to let you know Jonah, Linda Talbots son, died last Sunday. We are so sad. Linda doesn’t show much emotion she is overwhelmed. She has her AA support group but I was hoping you would reach out to her …LOVING FRIENDS ARE A BLESSING

Phillip Kelly, brother of Sonia Kelly (Grant Houses)

Just a note to say I reached out to your brother Evan and was happy to get a response back. I hope all is well with you, your life and church. You may see me the next time I’m in New York.

Phillip Kelly


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