An update from Pastor Deb

“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (CEB)

Dear Trinity Family,

May the grace and peace of God our Creator, Jesus our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit our Sustainer be with you all.

It has been nearly two weeks since our senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Frank Fowler, was called home to eternal rest. Understandably after a 38-year senior pastorate there are natural questions that arise about what comes next. In order to answer some of your questions I would like to share with you the process of how a new pastor is appointed.

All matters having to do with clergy/pastors and appointments are the responsibility of the Cabinet and the bishop. The United Methodist Church is not a congregational system. It is a connectional system with an appointment process. Please know that all through Frank’s illness, leave of absence, and his death, Bishop Schol and our District Superintendent, Eunice Vega-Perez have been walking alongside our PPR co-chairs and myself.

Remember Trinity has been through this process before several times, most recently in 2020 when our associate pastor Jisun Nam was appointed to Trinity. We have been through this process with every associate pastor we have had and we’ve had several. The appointment process by the Book of Discipline is the same for every appointed elder including the senior pastor.

The first step is for the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC), which at Trinity we call the Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPR), to contact the District Superintendent (DS). A request is made for a new appointment and a consultation is scheduled. My friends, this consultation is happening this Thursday. In this meeting, the PPR will discuss with the DS and Bishop Schol, who will also be in attendance, the church’s future and the type of leader needed to lead Trinity Church into that future. Once this consultation happens, the DS takes what was shared to the Cabinet. The Cabinet and Bishop Schol will enter into a discernment process to determine the next steps. Ultimately, it is the bishop’s decision and it is he who makes the appointment.

Please know that in the meantime and until further notice, I remain acting senior pastor. I’m here if you have any questions or concerns. We have not been abandoned; we are not lost. We are going to be fine. Remember YOU are the church and it is up to each and everyone of you to carry on the mission of the church. So be anxious for nothing and let’s continue to do the work we are called to do in this place.

Blessed to serve you and with you!

Pastor Deb