Faith United Methodist Church
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Living God's Word & Sharing God's Love

Leadership

Rev. Candy LaBar, Pastor

 

Message from Pastor Candy:

During worship on Sunday, January 27, I announced the news that our bishop has re-appointed me to serve as the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Bethlehem, effective July 1, 2019.
 
The news of this appointment triggers different emotions within me. I am saddened to say good-bye to all of you after five years of ministry. I am anxious and excited about the possibilities in my new appointment. I am grateful to be able to commute to this new appointment, thereby keeping my family in our home, the kids’ schools, and my husband’s job. I am eager to serve in Bethlehem, a city I love, a city where I spent my college years (four of the best years of my life), the city where I met my husband, the city where our children were born.
 
Some of you may wonder how this change in appointment came to be. In our United Methodist system, pastoral appointments come from the bishop and her team of district superintendents. It is their responsibility to step back and prayerfully view the conference as a whole, matching the needs of individuals churches with the gifts and skills of individual pastors. While I was not seeking to be moved to a new church, and Faith was not seeking to have a new pastor, the bishop felt that the current needs of Wesley UMC matched my own gifts and skills. She and the district superintendent asked me to consider this move, and after a time of prayer and discernment, I chose to accept the appointment.
 
Wesley UMC, coincidentally enough, is a church with which I connected while I was a college student at Moravian. I attended worship on Sunday mornings and enjoyed listening to the pastor (who, at that time, was a very gifted preacher). I participated in a Bible study led by a former college professor who was also United Methodist clergy. Because of those experiences, I remember Wesley as one of the first places, one of the first churches, where I felt challenged to bring both my brain and my heart into my relationship with God. That has become a meaningful part of my identity as a pastor and as a Christian. Now at the time, I had no sense that I would ever return to Wesley to serve as their pastor… yet somehow, that history makes this appointment change feel full circle in a big-picture, God-directed way.
 
I do not yet know the name of your new pastor. Our district superintendent has begun those conversations with our church’s Staff-Parish Relations team, and it is my hope that we will soon be able to announce the name of the pastor who will lead Faith UMC into the future. In the meantime, I encourage you to pray for your new pastor and think about the ways that you can welcome him or her into this incredible church.
 
In the meantime, dear church, please know: I’m not planning to slow down at all. The nature of what I do every day at the church will change a little as we look ahead to transition… but I’m still moving forward. Our plans – plans for an outreach team, a church-wide community service effort, children and youth ministries, and the building renovation and campaign are all moving forward. Join me, my friends, in helping to move your church forward, too. 
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Pastor Candy LaBar was appointed to serve Faith United Methodist Church in July 2014. A native of Falls, PA, she attended Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA for her bachelor's degree in music education and Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ for her Master of Divinity Degree. She was ordained as an elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church in May of 2012.

 

She lives with her husband Keith and their children Noah and Ellianna in East Stroudsburg, PA. 

 

 

Contact Pastor Candy by email or by calling 570-424-0712.