Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,
I have the privilege of sharing two appointment changes with you. These announcements were made in the appropriate churches this past Sunday and are now being shared with our whole conference. It is my intention to make these two appointments, effective July 1, 2017.
The Rev. Beth Rambikur will move from her current appointment as lead pastor of First UMC, Tucson, to become our new Director of Connectional Ministries. Beth has served with distinction for the past 4 years. In that time, she has been a strong pastor with a caring heart for the congregation, but also for the community, including the neighborhood around the church and the university community next door. The church has demonstrated its commitment to reach out to all and to provide needed services in concert with its message of hope in Jesus. I have experienced Beth’s strengths in organizational thinking, strategic design, and thoughtful spiritual grounding in God’s love for all. She is called and equipped to lead by example and teaching and brings to the position of DCM a connection with the Jurisdiction and the Global Church that will enrich and resource our Conference.
The Rev. Mark Conrad is in his fourth year as lead pastor at Sierra Vista UMC in Sierra Vista. The church has become a place that is alive and thriving because of his strong pastoral ministry. The church is engaged in exciting ministries in the diverse communities it serves. Mark has also served as chairperson of the Order of Elders and has led the elders and other colleagues in ministry, inspiring them to seriously address matters of health and wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. His example of taking the time to refresh his own spirit and refuel for ministry has been an encouragement for the clergy colleagues of our Conference. Mark brings that spirit as he moves from his appointment at Sierra Vista to serve as the new District Superintendent for the South District. I am looking forward to engaging Mark’s experience in pastoral ministry, his strong leadership in times of challenge and change, and his creative energy for the work of the Appointive Cabinet and the Ministry Cabinet of our Conference.
Please keep those that are most affected by these appointments in your prayers. I ask that you hold: the Rev. Beth Rambikur and the congregation of First UMC, Tucson; the Rev. Mark Conrad and the congregation at Sierra Vista UMC; as well as their families and colleagues and friends who surround them with love and encouragement in this time of transition.
Robert T Hoshibata,
Desert Southwest Conference
The United Methodist Church