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"My road to becoming a pastor began by serving as secretary for my local church. My pastor recommended my services to the District Superintendent, which led to working with three district superintendents, two field outreach ministers, district administrative secretaries, conference staff, many wonderful pastors and lay persons in the Muscatine District. God was allowing me to view ministry from many different viewpoints!
I attended the School for Lay Ministry, completed the candidacy process for pastoral ministry, and was appointed to the Donnellson and Embury United Methodist Churches in November of 2001. They were very patient with me as I learned the new responsibilities of being a pastor.
I completed the five years of Course of Study at Saint Paul School of Theology and in December of 2009, the Cabinet appointed me to the Mechanicsville and Morley United Methodist Churches. In every place I have served, there have been very kind and loving people excited to be in ministry together.
I have been blessed and humbled to serve God in these many ways. I am looking forward to this time of retirement, spending more time with family and friends and discovering new ways to serve God."
"I begin my reflection on twenty years of pastoral ministry with a grateful heart. First, I am grateful to my friends at Iowa City First UMC and the Cedar Rapids Emmaus Community for recognizing my potential to serve God as a pastor. I humbly confess that I would never have accepted this calling without the encouragement and support of friends who nudged me forward.
Next, I am grateful to the four congregations I was privileged to serve: Aroma Park UMC, in Aroma Park, IL as student pastor, Ankeny First UMC as associate pastor, Tiffin Grace UMC and Panora UMC as solo pastor. Each location welcomed me before they knew me, and nurtured and supported me through the inevitable ups and downs of church life. We prayed together, studied together, and served in the community together. I was honored to baptize children and new believers, to bless marriages, to sit with the sick and the dying, and to celebrate the lives of those among us who passed on to their heavenly home.
Finally, I give thanks for my husband and two sons, who tolerated my challenging spiritual journey with grace and compassion. God is good, all the time."
"As one of those who have been called into the ministry at a later age I truly have been blessed. In the beginning being a certified lay speaker, then later feeling the need to go to School of Lay Ministry at Morningside and later called as a local licensed pastor, God has placed me in front of and alongside so many great people who have helped me in my faith journey. Having been blessed with the opportunity to be able to go to the Holy Land with friends and Bishop Trimble was a turning point for me. Those people through their encouragement helped me grow personally.
I cannot say enough about the churches I have served, for the Farragut, Summit and Riverton churches have blessed me, as I journeyed in ministry with them, because of their love for God and each other. With them I have learned and with them I have grown. So, I want to say, THANK YOU" to them and the leadership within the southwest district, and to all of those who have in their part participated with me in this journey. Our God is indeed a gracious and loving God!"
"My reflections on my years in ministry have to start with all the memories of the many wonderful people that I have met over the years. I remember the advice that Rev. Mike Metz gave me as I anxiously anticipated going to my first appointment. Mike simply said ,"Be yourself and don't make promises that you can't keep." I remember all of the mentor sessions with Rev. Wally Paige when he was at Clarinda UMC. Those sessions were always learning experiences that were heavily sprinkled with Wally's theology of Mel They were never boring!
The members of my congregations were there for me when I had two open heart surgeries in 12 years. They filled the pulpit while I recuperated and cared for our personal needs as they arose. had the pleasure of watching kids in my congregations grow from youth to married individuals with families of their own. prayed with a community when one of their leading citizens committed suicide. I have celebrated the many weddings, baptisms, and confirmations in these churches over the years, and reminisced with those who have lost loved ones. I feel God has blessed me in my ministry to have interacted with so many wonderful people in many places."
"I received the call to ministry at the age of 17. Went to college at Simpson and then to seminary in Dallas, Texas at Perkins School of theology. My first appointment was at Charter Oak Iowa in 1978.
It has been 40 years since then and as I get ready to retire, it seems like just yesterday.
I believe we, as pastors, have one of the most blessed occupations there is. We are privileged to be with people in their most intimate times; sometimes grief and tragedy and other times great joy. We can love them through times when they just needed someone there. We get to love them, serve them, and lead them in their own service to others. What a great life!
Yet it is not without stress and strain and we learn to depend on God through it all. In all of this I am happy to have served the churches in my appointments, to be a part of the Iowa Annual Conference, and most specially to love and serve the people God has put in my care."
"Ministry is never done; that is a mixed blessing, because we all can learn to love more fully, and that is amazing! The hundreds of Christian sisters and brothers I have known, worked with, and ministered to in the past 30 years have brought joy and satisfaction to a “sometimes frustrating” calling. The joy of being with these people, coupled with the joy of serving God through my passions, give me a great love for ministry.
My passions in ministry include the proclamation and inspiration of preaching. I am passionate about studying the Bible and teaching others. I am passionate about missions and social justice, as well as finding those moments when people are open to God, especially at times of illness, death, life changes and reaffirmation of faith. I am passionate about the music of the church, and I have many hymns within me yet.
I will miss the preaching the most, I suppose, because along with writing some books and a lot of hymns, I can take part in those other passions within my local church. What I have loved the most is feeling God walking with me. Now the journey takes a new turn."
"I have been blessed to serve four loving, caring, compassionate, and devout churches. Each one has served the Lord Jesus in their own unique way. Planting Living Water and witnessing there is my biggest ministry highlight.
Reflecting on the best things I have experienced is the transformation of lives not previously touched by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. I have been fortunate to work with the mentally challenged, people recovering from drug addiction and alcohol addiction. I have dealt with domestic abuse situations, committal processes, and taking in a foster child.
In all these situations, God has been faithful. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit working in people who choose to receive the Lordship of Jesus that lives have been changed.
I have also been blessed to be part of Summer Games and the work they have done to bring pre-teens and teens to the Risen Jesus Christ. Walk to Emmaus and Academy for Spiritual Formation have given me opportunities to help many people discern their calling in life.
I have experienced the Risen Jesus Christ, and been blessed that He choose me as an instrument of his peace."
"My first Sunday as pastor was on World Wide Communion Sunday in 1986. I had my college degree, my lay speaker's license and 14 years experience as a pastor's wife. I was called to serve the United Church of Christ in Riceville, Iowa. My husband was serving the United Methodist Church in Riceville.
My Riceville congregation was very tolerant as I learned how to be a pastor. I was blessed by their encouragement and support and served them for 4 1/2 years. I started the process of Course of Study and was appointed to the church in Doon. I served Everly/Spencer Zion, Woodbine, Lenox/Clearfield/Mercer Center/Sharpsburg a 4-point charge and my last church Centerville First.
I am thankful for each church I have served. Every charge had it's joys and every charge had it's challenges. I have learned so much from the mission trips to West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Parkersburg and Des Moines. I am thankful for churches that have funded wells, mobility carts (P.E.T.S), UMCOR and many other important ministries.
The Sunday after Easter at the Centerville UMC 10 confirmands were welcomed as members of the church. Teaching confirmation classes over the years has been one of the greatest blessings of ministry. Helping youth accept the gift of grace is a great joy.
I look forward to retirement because I know God still has ministry for me."