Those who were present for worship last Sunday heard the announcement by our chair of Staff-Parish Relations, Steve Johnson, that our Bishop, Minerva Carcaño, intends
to appoint the Rev. Doug Dickson to California Heights UMC in Long Beach, effective July 1. Those of us who have been part of the United Methodist family for some time
remember that this is the traditional time for new appointments. Lisa Williams will begin her time as pastor with San Pedro UMC on the same day. And I will begin my 18th year
with you all that day as well. It is that season. Cal Heights is a wonderful congregation with a strong, healthy ministry. They have an excellent Children’s Center offering both preschool and after-school programs (sound familiar?), strong music and youth programs. Doug will have the fun of preaching there almost every Sunday and he looks
forward to the appointment. We are glad for the year he has shared with us and wish for him every success in the new setting. There will be a time of recognition and thanks with Doug on Father’s Day, June 21, with refreshments between the two morning services.
There will also be a time of celebration with Lisa Williams on the following Sunday, June 28, as we offer our gratitude and love for her on the next stage of her life and ministry. Lisa and her family have been part of our congregation for nearly twenty years, thirteen of those on staff with Kid Zone, Mid Zone, and more recently Children’s Ministries. We can hardly measure the importance of her contribution to our church’s life over this time. Please plan to be present for both of these important occasions in the life of our church family! But wait – there’s more!!! Steve also shared the news that our bishop intends to appoint the Rev. Dr. April Herron as the next Associate Pastor with our congregation. Thyra and I have known April for more than thirty years and are excited for the opportunity to work together. She comes to us after a long and fruitful ministry with Pacific Beach United Methodist Church in San Diego, where she served for twenty-three years. She is a native of San Diego, where her parents still live. She did her undergraduate study at Pomona College and completed her Master of Divinity degree at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley (my alma mater), where her daughter, Elizabeth was born. Following her ordination she served two congregations on the island of Kauai, where her daughter Christina was born. They grew up in Pacific Beach, went off to college and now live in São Paolo, Brazil and Bozeman, Montana. Recently April completed her Doctor of Ministry at Drew University in New Jersey. April is bright and capable, with a warm and encouraging spirit. She will bring a love of scripture, as well as gifts in pastoral care and visitation to our congregation. She is an excellent preacher. During her time at the Pacific Beach church she helped lead important mission and ministry. The congregation grew under her care and makes a significant impact in the lives of people in the community there. They have a strong homeless outreach program, providing not only food and shelter, but also medical and dental care in collaboration with UC San Diego.
April took something of a sabbatical last year, a time for renewal and rest after her long tenure at Pacific Beach. She traveled from Brazil to Norway, spent time with family and friends, met with colleagues for continued growth and development, and is excited to begin with us. I know you will enjoy her as well, and look forward to the next season of grace in our lives together.
Grace and peace,