Meet an Evangelist: Susan Newcomb
Tell us about yourself and your work. Where are you located? What do you do with your time? Do you have any hobbies?
Hi, I'm Susan J. Newcomb, and I was born in Los Angeles County, Cal., in 1961. With my parents and two older siblings, we lived in a bubble I like to call “The Waltons bubble” (as in the TV show). I grew up in the Baptist Church, but in 1983 I moved to Bullhead City, Ariz., and became deeply rooted in non-denominational churches. That lasted nearly 30 years! After two marriages, two children, and a variety of jobs, I am now on disability and living in Carson City, Nev., with my 90-year old father for whom I’m a caretaker-- but at this point, I’m not sure who takes care of whom, as he’s doing quite well. I get to spend lots of time with my two children and granddaughter, old and new friends, and I’m active in hospitality at my church, where I help plan receptions, holiday dinners, interfaith picnics, and every month for the past four years, I help host a stop on the monthly Downtown Carson City Wine Walk. This is where I get to interact, pray with, love on, and evangelize our community. I also love spending time in my yard, worshipping God, reading Scripture, and attending Bible studies.
Have you registered for Evangelism Matters 2018? Learn more here.
How did you come to/find the Episcopal Church?
On the weekends, I live with my man of 16 years, John. In 2013, he invited me to go with him to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. It was very different from what I knew, but within the first six months, I renewed my baptismal vow and was confirmed and received into the Episcopal Church by Bishop Dan of Nevada; I served on Vestry, started a coffee hour, and was fully involved in their hospitality ministry. I had fallen in love and became fully immersed in this little, historic church in downtown Carson City, Nev. With the exception of my youth, I only knew pastors who were self-taught Bible teachers, Holy Spirit-driven, who interpreted the Scriptures to the best of their own ability. What I found in Father Jeff and these parishioners was refreshing and people were very knowledgeable in all-things Bible. It was a divine intervention from my judgmental, selfish, accusing, and self-righteous Christianity. In my willingness to be open and tolerant, I’m learning more of God’s attributes and what it looks like to have the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) in my life, so I may better be of service and do God’s will.
What does it mean to be an evangelist?
Being an evangelist means being one who proclaims, announces, and shares the Gospel - the Good News - of Jesus Christ to all people everywhere, especially to those who have not heard it before. To evangelize is to love our neighbor as ourselves and to pray for our enemies. It is doing good works and living a life that shows others God’s attributes. It is a work of one’s life, rather than a position.
What do you want the whole Church to know about evangelism?
I want all Christians to know that being an evangelist is a calling and it is our Christian responsibility to spread the Word, the Good News of Jesus Christ, abroad and in their own cities, on their own streets and in their own homes; to love GOD with their whole heart, body, mind, and soul, and to love their neighbor as themselves. We are to be examples of Christ in this world. In doing this everyone, everywhere can have a personal relationship with (God) the Father, (God) the Son, (God) the Holy Ghost/Spirit - the Holy Trinity - because He loves them and wants their love in return. He wants to have a personal relationship with all of us; so it is on earth, as it is in Heaven! Amen and Amen.
Where do you see Jesus in your daily life and work?
I see Jesus every day when I first open my eyes in the morning, as I seek Him in worship, prayer, in reading the Scriptures and while I sip my cup of coffee. Throughout my day (when I take the time), I see Him in nature, the birds in my backyard, the wind that blows through the trees and the clouds, and the animals that run and play. Sometimes I see Jesus in other people and in conversations with friends, acquaintances, and strangers, in doctor’s waiting rooms, grocery store lines, and the dance studio where my granddaughter and her friends practice ballet, even in traffic and bad weather. When I see a baby sleeping and when my elderly father is fast asleep... I just watch and know that God is there. When I see random acts of kindness and compassion, and those that look tired, hurt, and down and out, it all reminds me how badly we need a Savior. The Lord is in the music I listen to and hopefully in the words I speak, at meal times and odd times; He reminds me how gracious and merciful He is. He’s at my church and the people there and all that I’m involved in, and when I lay down at night, He helps to settle my mind that has been busy and distracted by the daily things of this life. I am so grateful and I love God and the life He has blessed me with.
Evangelism catalysts, invited by their bishops, will meet the day before Evangelism Matters 2018 - March 14, 2018 - to learn from and network with other evangelists from across the Episcopal Church. Interested in joining? Contact your bishop's office!