Blog Post by Commissioned Pastor, Donna Schiro
Trinity Chapel Presbyterian Church, Cuba, Missouri

Walking into my daughter’s kitchen last week, I couldn’t help but notice the jigsaw puzzle splayed over the island top. I thought to myself, “This must be what God’s world is like.” God the master puzzle builder, working the tiny odd-shaped puzzle pieces of our lives into the spaces they belong. Pieces with all of their bulges and bumps… pieces like me! How in the world did God finally fit my “piece” into the puzzle? Didn’t God give up on me a long time ago?

I am one who is fortunate enough to say that I grew up in the Presbyterian Church. Being a child and eventually, a teenager in the church gave me plenty of opportunities to discover my gift about being interested in EVERYTHING I studied in the Bible. My 1970s edition of The Living Bible was highlighted in every color of the rainbow.  I even tested out of every humanities credit needed to graduate at Florissant Valley Community College; largely based on my knowledge of the Bible.

But in my young adult years, something happened to all that religious enthusiasm; especially when it came to considering pastoral ministry as a career.  That something was my dad. Being a woman pastor in the “women’s-libber, bra-burning, hippie era” was not an option for one of his daughters! Thinking back on it now, I realize that working through this decision with my dad made me a little more understanding and sympathetic to those who feel the same way as he did, even still today.

But that didn’t stop me, or I should say… that didn’t stop God. Over the years I continued to volunteer at many church activities.  I worked in Sunday school, youth programs, directed childcare programs, Vacation Bible School, served on the board of Deacons and Session. Jim and I were faithful Bible study attendees and members of Mariner groups.

All of these experiences, along with my “real” job experiences in business administration, eventually led me to employment in Christian Education by two different Presbyterian churches in the Presbytery.  It was through this employment that I became involved in organizations like the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators who instructed me in foundational Christian beliefs and practices.  I also began assisting pastors in worship planning, where I was taught reformed theologies in worship practices.  God’s hold on me was getting stronger and stronger.  I’m convinced that through these experiences more bumps and bulges to my puzzle piece were beginning to fit where they belonged in God’s world.

But the main contribution that filled my piece with color, detail, and direction were the experiences I gained as a participant in Commissioned Pastor Training through Presbytery.  Realizing that there were desperate needs for pastors to churches whose resources and membership have declined over the years was something I was aware of, but didn’t want to admit that there was something I could do about it!

It is so gratifying to know that my “piece of the puzzle” filled a void and fits perfectly into the church God called me to.  I have finally lived into my calling, and I couldn’t have done it any other way than the path God put me on, and the perfectly-fitting piece that God finally formed. I praise God for spiritual gifts, I am grateful for Jesus’ companionship along the way, and I know that without the power of the Holy Spirit, I would have never made it this far. Live into your calling dear friends; follow all of the experiences God gives you because God is always trying to fit you into God’s puzzle and never gives up on you.

Pastor Donna Schiro
Trinity Chapel Presbyterian Church
Cuba, Missouri


  • Posted March 2, 2022 9:05 am
    Kathy Sherrick

    As a jigsaw puzzle fan, I love your analogy! I guess most of us are small pieces, part of a larger picture that we may not see. But God bless you and me, as well as others who say YES to being a part of the picture!

  • Posted March 2, 2022 10:59 am
    Barbara G. Willock

    Thank you, Donna, for sharing your experience and call. I am so glad you are in such a good place. Blessings on you and the new ways your ministry will continue to unfold.

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