by James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor
The Virginia Conference lists 1,055 clergy under appointment full and part time, who serve the 1,205 churches throughout the state. On Wednesday, June 25, 185 clergy and their families will load all their personal belongings into a moving van and travel to their first or next pastoral appointment. Some will travel to large multi-staff church communities, others to rural congregations; all go in hopes of joining Christ in faithful ministry. Conference-wide, 24 of our clergy will try to adjust to being retired and will feel a bit strange when Sunday rolls around and they find out what life is like in the pews… again.
This year nearly one out of every six churches of the Virginia Conference (17%) will receive a different pastor. On Sunday, June 30, 14 new pastors to the Arlington District will arrive in their churches prepared to work at making disciples for Jesus Christ. Those churches will swell in attendance as active and inactive members turn out to check out the new pastor or associate pastor. Our District Superintendent is Cathy Abbott, who begins her second year of leadership of the Arlington clergy and laity.
Trinity’s former youth director, Chris Abel, will take a new appointment as associate of a satellite church in St. Louis, MO. Chris served Trinity well for 2 years, and now he moves on to the next station of his journey in ministry. We wish him all life’s good fortune and blessings on his new ministry.
Other joyous notes: we welcome Nick McMichael as our new Youth Leader. Nick is a 2nd year seminary student at Wesley Theological Seminary and has previous experience as a youth leader. Eileen Gilmer (starting year two) will be studying with other local pastors at Wesley in July, participating in the Course of Study Program. Ellen LaCroix is 2nd year in her seminary studies at Wesley and will be not only our intern in Mission and Ministry this summer but also the leader of Trinity Children’s Choir. They join me (starting year 18 as your pastor), Harriet (in year 9), Jerry (starting year 19 as our music director), Amy (starting year 5), Catherine and our lay leaders Jose and Leslie, and all the Trinity family as together we make disciples for Jesus Christ and help transform the world into a planet where peace and justice are the watchwords.