Dear Members and Friends of Epworth,
I write today with deep appreciation and gratitude for the time that I have been able to spend with you and to share with you that I have received a new Pastoral Appointment in the West Ohio Conference. Bishop Gregory Palmer has appointed me the new Lead Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church in Miamisburg, Ohio. Parkview UMC is in the Miami Valley District just south of Dayton, Ohio. My new appointment will begin with the new appointive year across the West Ohio Conference on June 25, 2017. My last Sunday with you at Epworth will be June 11.
It has been my privilege to serve as one of your pastors. As a resident pastor, I knew that my time at Epworth was limited to two years, but in this short time you have warmly received my family and we are forever thankful for that.
I thank you for your encouragement, your love, and your support during my time at Epworth. The experiences we have shared together have connected us in many ways, however, with this transition, I move from being one of your pastors to being a friend who serves another church within our conference. Please know that you will be in our prayers as we make this move and would welcome your prayers for our family as well.
Again, I thank you for your graciousness and generosity over our time at Epworth.
Epworth United Methodist Church
Dear Epworth Members and Friends,
As you may remember, nearly two years ago Epworth was selected as one of two churches out of the West Ohio Conference’s 1100 churches to receive a Resident Pastor. Pastor Dave Pettengill was appointed to Epworth’s clergy team. The Residency Program matches top notch seminary graduates with a seasoned senior pastor and missional congregation to help prepare the Resident Pastor to lead a multi-staff congregation at the completion of the two-year residency. The Resident Pastor’s compensation, minus the housing allowance, was funded by the West Ohio Conference.
During Pastor Dave’s time with us, he has grown in his ministry and leadership and fulfilled the expectations of the Residency Program. While we are sorry to see Dave leave us, I would like to ask you to thank Pastor Dave for his service here and help him to celebrate his new appointment as Lead Pastor at the Parkview UMC in Miamisburg, just south of Dayton in the Miami Valley District. We trust God will use him and Lindsey to forward the Kingdom in their new community.
Pastor Dave’s last Sunday will be June 11. We will be collecting a love offering for the Pettengill family. If you feel led to contribute please send your gift to the Business Office by June 8.
In January, SPPC appointed a sub-committee to explore our pastoral needs moving forward. The sub-committee studied the staffing models of other churches, and considered a wide variety of possibilities as we examined Pastor’s Dave’s ministry portfolio. We also considered the cost of requesting the Bishop to appoint a new Associate Pastor to Epworth (the annual cost for an ordained pastor at the conference minimum salary and package is between $85,000 to $95,000).
Through prayerful consideration of all of these factors, we have decided that our best course of action at this point is to realign responsibilities and leverage the capabilities of our existing staff rather than hire additional clergy. To this end, effective June 25, Pastor Beth Irwin will be appointed to serve as the “Pastor of Care and Congregational Life.” Her focus will be upon continuing her ministry of care, inviting others to use their gifts to extend members care, and work with adult program areas such as discipleship, fellowship, singles ministry, etc. Her focus will mainly be upon care and disciple-formation of adults inside the church.
We are also making changes in our administrative staff in order to support the change in clergy responsibilities. Marla Kelsey, Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor, will now also support Pastor Beth in addition to Pastor Doug. Marla’s title will become “Executive Assistant to the Clergy.” We will seek to hire a new part-time Lay Parish Visitor to help with visitation and a new part-time Office Assistant that will enable Marla to provide administrative support to our two fulltime clergy.
Our Senior Pastor’s role will also be shifting. Historically, our Associate Pastor has worked with mission and community outreach as they serve our local and global communities. With an emphasis upon the church reaching outside our walls to the world in need of Christ, in addition to retaining his primary preaching responsibilities, Pastor Doug will work with lay leaders in the areas of Mission, Community Outreach, and evangelism. His focus will be to lead transformation outside the church.
We believe that these changes are consistent with our mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” and are fiscally responsible for our congregation. These staffing shifts will result in a cost savings to the operating budget.
Our SPRC will evaluate this model after one year and will work monthly with the pastors and staff to monitor performance and assist with these significant changes.
We believe God has given us all that we need in terms of members, lay staff, and clergy for this season of ministry within and mission beyond Epworth. Please pray for your church during this season of change. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or other members of our Staff Parish Relations Committee.