By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor
The Virginia Conference lists 1,002 clergy under appointment full and part time. Together we serve the 1,205 churches throughout the state. On Wednesday, June 27, Virginia Conference 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 43 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.
Yearly about one out of every 10 churches of the Virginia Conference will receive a different pastor.
On Sunday, July 1, twelve new pastors to the Arlington District will arrive in the pulpits of 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.
The Arlington District will receive 12 new pastors, and bid farewell to 12 pastors who served our District in love and fellowship. There are seven incoming senior pastors and five incoming associate pastors. There are three retirements on our District. A new satellite church begins on July 1 called Restoration Loudoun. The District staff welcomes Michelle Holmes Chaney to be part-time Coordinator for Church Development, replacing Melissa Dunlap who will be appointed to Vine UMC as a part-time associate.
On another joyous note: we welcome the reappointment of the Reverend Keith Lee as our associate pastor who is the spiritual leader for our youth, the Education Committee and Young Couples. We are also blessed by the reappointment of Reverend Eileen Gilmer as a Local Pastor appointed to serve Trinity in Outreach Ministry. Eileen received her MA from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC in May of 2018. Join with me, Catherine, Eileen, Harriet, Keith, Jerry, Jose, our lay leader: Peggy Fox, and all the Trinity family as together we make disciple for Jesus Christ.