“All My Life’s a Circle” by Pastor Anne Djokic
On Saturday, October 2, 2021, the Western Association, Rev. Erin Gilmore, the Collbran congregation, and Pastor Anne Djokic celebrated the Covenant and Installation of Anne! Anne’s story and journey from Buckland, Massachusetts to her installation in Collbran, Colorado is a story of a call to ministry ~ “All My Life’s a Circle.”
Born on May 31, 1957 to Rev. Donald and Priscilla Morrison just days before the United Church of Christ came to be, Anne grew up in U.C.C. parsonages including Buckland, Massachusetts; Hudson, New Hampshire; Flat Rock, Michigan; and Topeka, Kansas…where she turned ten! At the University of Kansas, Lawrence, she studied Music Education and walked every Sunday to Plymouth Congregational, United Church of Christ church where Rev. Gary Bryant was the Associate Minister. After three years of teaching elementary general music in Topeka, Anne moved to Greeley, Colorado where she earned her master’s degree in Gifted Education. Following graduation in 1983, she took a teaching job in Grand Junction, Colorado.
On an Outing Club hike, she met Sveto Djokic whose family was sponsored by the World Council of Churches in 1951, and immigrated from Kassel, West Germany to settle in Collbran, Colorado. His family belonged to the Collbran Congregational church. Anne and Sveto were married August 5, 1984 at the chapel on Baron Lake, Grand Mesa. They moved to Kansas to teach at Fort Riley Military Post and then Jackson, Wyoming before returning to Grand Junction in 1991 to teach and help care for Sveto’s parents in Collbran. Anne completed the Theological Education Institute in Denver, a licensed ministry program (2006 – 2010) while teaching fulltime and providing occasional pulpit supply in Collbran, for none other than, Rev. Gary Bryant!
Gary Bryant planned to retire in February 2016 from the Collbran Congregational, U.C.C church. When Rev. Sue Artt visited Collbran to discuss their next steps to a pastor, she heard Anne’s name for the first time. The next day (December, 2015) Sue and Anne met, and the circle was put into motion. Anne would be the “designated pastor,” beginning March 1, 2016. The Collbran congregation planned a “Welcoming Worship Service” and on September 18, 2016 this warm, loving, incredibly beautiful service took place! Fast forward to several years later and an inspired visit with Rev. Erin Gilmore who determined that Anne was “truly called” to serve the Collbran church and should be installed. The Western Association and Anne planned the installation service for April, 2020. It was postponed due to the COVID -19 pandemic.
On October 2, 2021 Anne’s service of Installation was joyfully held! Sincerest and warmest “THANKS!” to the Western Association; Rev. Erin Gilmore; Pastor Jane Kramer, Betty Barnes (Haydn); Rev. Deana Armstrong (Craig); Karen Caton, Heidi Hess (Grand Junction); Suzanne Bellotti (Collbran) for their participation in the Installation Service. Special thanks to Tilda Evans, Cindy Price (Collbran), and Sveto Djokic for their part in the worship on this celebratory day!