Summer is often a season of transition in United Methodist circles, as the clergy appointment year begins July 1. For those serving churches, especially itinerant elders, this often means farewells in June and new beginnings in July. For other clergy, including elders in extension ministry or deacons serving beyond the local church, summer is the time when family life shifts as children are home and preparing for a new school year, or the time when vacations are easier to schedule, or just a time to enjoy long, sunny days and good weather for getting outdoors on weekends.
Sacred Stones Ministries is going through some transition this summer as well. One of our founding members, Rev. Debra Juarez, has discerned that her new appointment as Director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry in Laramie, Wyoming, is where she is called to put all of her professional energies now. We are excited that she has found this ministry setting that is such a good fit for her passion and calling, and we wish her every blessing of abundant life in living out her vocation there.
At the same time, we have been in conversation with Rev. Doug McKinney, another United Methodist Deacon, who will officially be appointed to Sacred Stones Ministries half-time beginning September 1. Doug has served congregations ranging from 500 to 6000 members in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Florida, and Colorado, in roles ranging from Youth Minister to Christian Educator to Executive Pastor. Most recently he served as the founding Executive Director of Love INC of Littleton, CO, a non-profit that mobilizes 30 churches from 19 denominations (950 volunteers) to help people in need in the community. Love INC now operates 11 distinctive volunteer-led ministries to help get individuals and families back on their feet.
Doug has a passion for developing people, and mobilizing congregations to live as disciples in the community and the wider world. He brings a range of skills and expertise that expand and complement the previous areas of service offered by Sacred Stones Ministries. And he is an adventurer, having recently returned from a Harley Davidson tour of Europe!
While farewells can be sad, and the time of transition between what was and what will be can hold much uncertainty, we are excited about the possibilities for Sacred Stones Ministries’ continued growth as we live into the possible future. If you are part of a church or other faith community seeking to connect more deeply with God, with each other, or with the world, please drop us a line to begin a conversation about how we can equip and empower you to live out your calling!