Change is a fact of life. And we are certainly facing significant upcoming changes with Pastor Karen moving on this summer to take on a new role in Western New York at the First United Methodist Church of North Tonawanda.
The Staff Parish Relations Committee spent many hours meeting as a committee and working closely with the District Superintendent in the search for a new pastor. The District Superintendent also spent a great deal of time working with his counterparts and with the Bishop during the search.
We are pleased to announce that the search is complete, and Rev. Caroline Simmons will join us as our new pastor starting on July 15th.
She currently serves two churches in the Syracuse area, just south of Oneida Lake: Collamer United Church and Bridgeport United Methodist Church. She has also previously served at a number of other churches.
Rev. Simmons will be moving to Rotterdam this summer, bringing with her a very important family member, her dog named Kelsea.
In the meantime, we want to pass along this message from Rev. Simmons:
Each of us has been called to share the good news with others. Whether we realize it or not, we are witnesses to how Christ has worked and continues to work in our lives, and our stories may help others sense God’s presence in their lives. At this time in my journey of ministry, I have felt God calling me to share this wonderful news by coming to serve the Rotterdam UMC Community as your next pastor. I look forward to meeting you and growing together in our faith journey.
Rev. Caroline Simmons
We have been incredibly blessed to have Pastor Karen lead us, guide us, and mentor us over the past few years. It will be difficult to say goodbye to Pastor Karen this summer, and we should remember that two churches near Syracuse will be losing their pastor, as well.
Even so, it is also a time for joy. We should rejoice at the opportunity for Pastor Karen to bring her ministry to North Tonawanda. It is an opportunity for Rev. Simmons as she continues her ministry here. And it is an opportunity for all the churches involved in this transition to grow spiritually and to serve God in new ways.
We ask that you pray for Pastor Karen, Rev. Simmons, Bridgeport United Methodist Church, Collamer United Church, the First United Methodist Church of North Tonawanda, and of course, for our church.
In the meantime, if you would like to send a note or a card to Rev. Simmons, her address will be posted on the bulletin board outside the church office. You can also contact the church office for the address.
Yours in Christ,
Chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee