In celebration of Women’s History Month, this March we are featuring some stories of women making everyday history as they live on mission for God. 

As a child, Kara Bussabarger was her family’s designated photographer with a camera nearly always present in her hand. While she serves as the pastor of Christ UMC in Westfield, IN, she also uses these gifts to live on mission through her ministry, More Than Enough Photography.”More Than Enough Photography

Reflecting on the way God has knitted together the facets of her life, Pastor Kara can see the way creativity, storytelling, and a desire to serve others have led to her becoming a pastor and a photographer. 

For a time she worked in public relations and journalism where photography and storytelling were key components of her job. “I worked at a zoo, telling the story of God’s creation through words and photography. I’ve always been a storyteller,” said Pastor Kara, “I’ve always wanted to know what people’s stories were.”

In 1998, she and her husband were living on a military base when she met a woman who was so full of life, joy, and peace. Pastor Kara, curious about the story behind this woman’s demeanor, remembers asking her once with loving humor, “What pill are you on?” The woman replied, “Honey, it’s Jesus.”

More Than Enough PhotographyThrough that woman, Pastor Kara came to know Jesus. While attending and volunteering at her home church, Pfrimmers Chapel UMC in Corydon, IN, she experienced a call to ministry and started seminary in 2010. 

Pastor Kara began to see connections in Jesus’ ministry with storytelling. “Jesus’ parables always paint a story. His stories were visual, and they seemed to provoke this inner awakening. It made others think, in a similar way to what art, like photography, can do. They can tell stories in a visual way.”

There is a primary story that Pastor Kara intends for her photography, and it’s captured by the name of the endeavor: More Than Enough. She said, “In ministry and life, I have found that, for many people, the narrative that they are told and then tell themselves is that they aren’t enough. I’ve lived that narrative, too. I want to show people a different story, a different narrative to rewrite that negative narrative into a narrative that affirms that they are ‘More Than Enough’.” Pastor Kara had the opportunity to take some photos of the chair of the Ad Board at Christ UMC who is currently going through cancer. She said, “I wanted to show to her that despite her difficulties, she is more than enough!”More Than Enough Photography

Pastor Kara views herself as a pastor to the community, not just the congregation. When she first arrived in Westfield for her appointment at Christ UMC, it was the summer of 2020. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she wondered how to meet people and begin to live out the Gospel mission to love and serve others. Her camera had a way of inviting her and her family outside to explore their new community and to meet new people. This pushed her to start More Than Enough Photography formally in April 2021, though she’d dabbled in photography for much of her life

“I am an ordained pastor of Word and sacrament. I have a call to proclaim God’s Word, and there are many ways to do that. I see a beautiful melding and intermingling with my vocation as a pastor and a vocation as a photographer. Each person is a miracle with God’s spark in each of them. Photography helps me see others for their real story of who God created them to be.”

When Pastor Kara meets with a new client, she has an opportunity to hear their story and what story they want to tell through their pictures. Some of these photography sessions lead to new friendships. Others have led to invitations to talk and pray long after their photo sessions were completed. 

More Than Enough PhotographyPastor Kara shared, “Photography helped me regain and reignite creativity in ministry. It helps me be more aware and on mission for Jesus. Everyone has a story that deserves to be heard, and everyone needs hope. I want to be willing to go outside the doors to share that.”

When she receives reviews from clients that say things like this, “I have never had a photographer capture the real me like Kara has done,” Pastor Kara is encouraged. “I hope that my passion for God and for photography helps forge new connections with others. It’s a gift to learn and document their stories, and to remind them of the truth that they are more than enough right now.”