Hey everyone! Sunset Covenant Church now has a newsletter, available in either print or PDF format. Print copies are available on the table outside the sanctuary.

However, due to space constraints, we can't always print all of the content we gather for our articles and interviews, so here's a place where you can get exclusive content!

September 2017

Profile: Pauline Marriott

How did you get to Sunset?

I got to Sunset through a "supper for 8" program that Rich Purser organized, it was for the purpose of integrating the congregations better. Sometimes congregations can form cliques, you gravitate toward others of similar age or background, so they wanted to mix it up a little, they thought that would strengthen the congregation. 

One day, Chris Lowe invited me to have dinner at her house, and I asked her if the church people would be there, and she said yes. And I said I didn't think I would be a good addition to her group, because I'd lost the art of being a good conversationalist. And besides, all I know about are CCDs (charge-couple devices). It's just not a usual topic, and in America people tend to ask "what do you do?" and I wasn't looking forward to talking about that. Well, as it turns out, someone named David was there and asked me about what I did, and it turns out, he knew exactly what CCDs were! And I was gobsmacked, because I didn't know anyone outside of my field who even knew what those were.

From there, I got connected and eventually joined the church.

From that night on, I felt encouraged by that group. I expected not to have a good time, but as it turns out I had a great time. A week later I got a phone call from someone at that dinner, and they invited me to an event at the park, and I thought "oh my goodness, they must've liked me." And those folks were so gracious, and loving, and fun, that when Chris invited me to church, again, for the umpteenth time, I said yes.

And when I introduced myself, a woman named Rosalee told me, "I've been praying for you for months."

At the time, the church was looking for a new pastor, and so there were church meetings. I used to be a Jehovah's Witness and I was used to the elders conducting all the business of the meeting.

What was cool about this church service was that it was so informal and relaxing. The guest preacher was named Matthew Peterson, and he showed up with a straw hat and a wheelbarrow and opened up his talk by saying, "I hate gardening, but my wife loves flowers." It was such a lovely talk.

Turns out his name was Kevin Peterson. When I found out, I told him, "Is your name Kevin? I've been calling you Matthew for weeks!" 

He replied, "I'm just happy you're here, and you can call me anything you want."

what's something you're proud of?

In 1997, I had the best year of my life. On Feb. 12th I became a grandmother to Megan, and on April 15th, I was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame, for helping to produce a CCD that went into the Hubble Telescope and gave us some of our first pictures of outer space. 

And you have to understand that I had been through a very difficult marriage; I didn't know that I was a strong, smart person. My husband continually told me that I was stupid, that I wasn't smart enough to balance a checkbook, etc. I was only 18 when I got married, I didn't have a strong family background, and you start to believe things when people tellt hem to you over and over. When he said kind things, I believed it. When he said mean things, I believed it.

In 1977, twenty years prior, I was a mother of four children, but I was asked to go to work. At the time, I didn't know what I would do. People suggested Tektronix, because at that time, practically everybody worked for Tektronix. I made a good impression, and they hired me.

But three months later, my son died. And part of the impetus for getting the job was the fact that we needed a car, but after Andy died in the car accident, we had insurance money to buy a new car, and at that point, since that was my reason for going to work, I felt no need to continue working there.

But at the time, I was grieving, and I couldn't handle the stress of every day domestic life.

Don, I don't want anyone trying to fix me, and I can't bear the risk of going to work and losing another child. 

Don said, "I'll call you again in September."

Sure enough, in September, he called back. And he ended up essentially creating a position for me and allowing me to have a flexible work schedule, and this was long before this was a regular practice. In many ways, he was breaking the rules. I ended up working part-time for a year and a half... it took me that long to really adjust.

Eventually he told me, "you're really one of the smartest people we have, and I can't teach you anything else."

Eventually, I got connected with an engineer from Texas Instruments named Morley Blouke, who became my mentor. Eventually, he was the one who designed and created the charge couple device. He would write things on napkins, and then I would write up the specs, and make adjustments for every revision. We worked for about six or seven years together, and we made a great team.

What's something you're still working on?

I've been working at Meals on Wheels, since last October. It's a program through Easter Seals, but I get so much love and gratitude through the program. I really love it. It's not demanding, really, except that it requires a fair amount of patience, especially if the clients speak a different language. I'm not a Spanish speaker, but even in those situations, we muddle through it, and we make it work. I'm older than some of those clients, so I really enjoy being able to help them. I really feel like I've found a niche there, in the same way that I did when I worked at Tek. 

Tell me about your role as council chair.

It's very challenging.

When the call came out for a new council chair, I didn't actually volunteer for the role, because I didn't think I could fill Rich Purser's shoes. Actually, no one volunteered. So Pastor Mary asked us to pray, and be specific. And as it turned out, the message I received from God was that I don't have to fill Rich's shoes, I just have to be comfortable in my own.

In the next meeting, I told the people that I felt that God had told me that it was my turn to take the role. And to my great surprise, everyone started cheering.

What's one thing you hope for in the future?

I have conversations with my granddaughter about the Bible, and she challenges me, and sometimes makes assumptions about me and the ways that I think, because of the ways that other Christians think. She used to think that just because I'm a Christian, I don't believe in science.  My hope is that I could help cultivate a love for God, and fascination with God, in my granddaughter.

Anything else you want people to know about you?

I have a good sense of humor, but I'm still very British. Very reserved. Because I've had so many sad things happen to me, I can get depressed sometimes, but I still love to build friendships.