I recently shared that I would be retiring after 28 years of ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. My retirement will become effective on April 30, 2022 and will be officially approved at the Annual Conference this June. My retirement from ministry in the UMC is not, in fact, a lifestyle retirement. After much prayer and discernment, I have decided to leave ministry in the United Methodist Church.
On July 1st I will begin serving as the Lead Pastor of the First Free Methodist Church in Seattle, Washington. (www.ffmc.org) Those with whom I am close know many of the reasons why I have made this change in my life. I need not detail them here. In all my discussions, prayers, and deep reflections with the Free Methodist Church I find that God is beckoning me to this new field of ministry. As hard as it has been to leave the United Methodist Church, I know that God has called me to a new place in the “vineyard.” First Free Methodist is a church steeped in the rich history of Seattle. I am grateful to be called to serve and multiply the church in this moment.
It is an exciting time for ministry in the Free Methodist Church as they are dedicated to the growth and multiplication churches and ministries. This coming season of full-time ministry is one filled with expectancy and excitement! I am thankful for Superintendent Michael Forney and Leadership Team Chairperson Diann Barry for their welcome and hospitality.
This fresh setting will open doors of service with Seattle Pacific University and its seminary. God has formed a deep love in me for both institutions. Having served as the chairperson of the Advisory Board of the seminary in the last few years, I can see the impact being made on emerging leaders in the life of the church. It is a joy to serve the church that helped found Seattle Pacific University and to enrich its legacy of service to the world.
God has truly opened a wonderful new of season of ministry. Bettina and I both embrace this moment with sincere love and affection for the impact the United Methodist Church has had on us both. We now turn toward this new journey with joy for what God will do. As always, our lives are becoming more and more the possession of Christ.
Should your path take you to the Pacific Northwest, please reach out to us. We are, as always, yours in grace and love through Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.