By James C. Sprouse
The Virginia Conference lists 1,060 clergy under appointment full and part-time. Together we serve the 1,205 churches throughout the state. On Wednesday, June 29, between 100 & 200 clergy and their families will load all their personal belongings into a moving van and travel to their 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. Across the Conference nearly 30 of our clergy will try to adjust to being retired. They will feel a bit strange when Sunday rolls around and they find out what life is like in the pews… again.
This year nearly two out of every 10 churches of the Virginia Conference will receive a different pastor.
On Sunday, July 3, fifteen 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 new associate pastor.
The Arlington District will see Trinity’s former associate pastor, Eric Song, and his wife Heather, return to the District. Eric will serve Good Shepherd UMC on Hunter Mill Road in Vienna. Our District Superintendent, Cathy Abbott, begins her fourth year of leadership of the Arlington clergy and laity.
Ellen Fillette receives her first appointment in June to Centreville UMC as associate pastor. Nila Curry and Lauren Michelle Stevens return to Trinity as Wesley Theological Seminary interns. Eileen Gilmer will continue her studies at Wesley Theological Seminary.
On another joyous note: Reverend Keith Lee and Elieen Gilmer return as associate pastors. Keith renews his spiritual leadership for our youth, the Education Committee and Young Couples. He is an Elder in the Virginia Conference and has been clergy since 1994. Eileen renews her spiritual leadership as pastor of Outreach and Communications. She is a Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church and continues her seminary education in this summer. Eileen and Keith join me, Jerry, Harriet, Jose, Brooks, our lay leaders: Jose and Leslie, and all the Trinity family as together we make disciple for Jesus Christ.