Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,

Grace and peace to you in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ!

I have the privilege of sharing news of two appointment changes with you. The first is the announcement that the Rev. Mark Conrad, Superintendent of the South District, has made the decision to retire from active ministry. Mark has served as the South District Superintendent since July, 2017. He has demonstrated a pastor’s heart in his relationships with congregations and pastors under his care. He has been a strong advocate and proponent of clergy self-care in his ministry, in his superintendency, and in a quadrennium of leadership at the chairperson of the Order of Elders. Among other responsibilities, Mark has been the Cabinet representative to the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. After prayerful discernment, Mark and Nina have decided to enjoy a more leisurely life closer to family members. They are still discerning where that move will take them.

I ask you to keep Mark and Nina in prayer as they move into this time of transition. Let’s hold all the churches of the South District, their laity and their clergy in prayer, too!

The second is the announcement that the Rev. Matt Ashley, pastor of Sierra Vista UMC in Sierra Vista, will begin ministry as the new District Superintendent of the South District. Matt has been the senior pastor at Sierra Vista since July 2017. In the years of his pastorate, he has used his gifts for ministry with grace and Christ-like love for the congregation and the community. Under his leadership, the church has reduced its debt, refinanced their mortgage, and reorganized its staff in the midst of challenging times.

In addition to his responsibilities as senior pastor at Sierra Vista, with the support of his congregation, Matt assumed leadership at Huachuca United Methodist Church. In October 2018, after a fire destroyed the Huachuca United Methodist buildings, Matt and a team of Lay Servants cared for that hurting congregation, which incidentally was the “mother church” of Sierra Vista UMC.

Matt is concluding his term as the president of our Conference Council on Finance and Administration. He has demonstrated excellent organization, financial and stewardship expertise in that role and has blessed us with spiritual grounding in difficult and challenging times.

Let’s include in our prayers Rev. Matt Ashley, his spouse Felida, and the congregation of the Sierra Vista UMC as well as their colleagues and friends who surround them with love and encouragement in this time of transition.

Blessings,
Bishop Bob

 

 

Rambikur, Rev. BethThe Rev. Mark Conrad, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the South District, announced that Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata intends to appoint the Rev. Beth Rambikur as senior pastor of Christ Church United Methodist in Tucson, AZ effective July 1, 2020. Rev. Rambikur is currently serving as Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) in the Desert Southwest Conference office.

Bishop Hoshibata shares these words about Beth’s ministry as the Director of Connectional Ministries:

“Beth has been actively involved in the coordination of the myriad of ministries of our conference. Her work has taken her to visit with congregations and leaders in all 4 districts. During her tenure, Beth worked tirelessly to offer organization and gracious hospitality when hosting several conferences and meetings from outside the Desert Southwest Conference. She has been involved in critical conversations and strategic planning and implementing on the jurisdictional and general church levels. Beth will bring this experience with her as she begins ministry at Christ Church UM.

I am working to determine who will succeed Beth in the role of DCM and will be making an announcement to the Conference as soon as possible.”

Colvin, Rev. RulaThe Rev. Dr. Rula Colvin, currently appointed to Christ Church UM, will enter into retired status effective July 1, 2020.

Please keep Rev. Colvin, Rev. Beth Rambikur, and their families in prayer for support and encouragement in this time of change; along with the Christ Church UM and the Desert Southwest Conference staff and colleagues and friends as we work together for a smooth transition and as Beth begins her ministry with Christ Church UM.

 

 

The Rev. Nancy Cushman, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the West District, announced that Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata intends to appoint the Rev. David Wasson as the senior pastor of Dove of the Desert United Methodist Church in Glendale, Arizona, effective July 1, 2020 per paragraph 346.2 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Wasson is currently serving at North Scottsdale UMC in Scottsdale, Arizona and is an ordained member of the Church of Christ.

 

The Rev. Dr. George Cushman, currently appointed to Dove of the Desert UMC, will return to full retirement effective July 1, 2020.

Please pray for Rev. George Cushman, Rev. Wasson, their families, Dove of the Desert UMC, and North Scottsdale UMC during this time of transition.

 

 

 

Jelinek, Rev. TomThe Rev. Nancy Cushman, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the West District, announced that Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata intends to appoint the Rev. Tom Jelinek as the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Glendale, Arizona, effective July 1, 2020. Rev. Jelinek is currently serving at Patagonia UMC in Patagonia, Arizona.

 

Gladding, Rev. KimThe Rev. Kim Gladding, currently appointed to First UMC, Glendale, will enter into retired status effective July 1, 2020.

Please pray for Rev. Gladding, Rev. Jelinek, their families, First UMC, and Patagonia UMC during this time of transition.

 

 

 

The Rev. Nancy Cushman, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the West District, announced that Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata intends to appoint the Rev. Tom Butcher as the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sun City, Arizona, effective July 1, 2020 per paragraph 357.6 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Butcher most recently served at Lakeview UMC in Sun City, Arizona.

 

Hedden, Rev. LoisOndra, Rev. ThomasThe Rev. Lois Hedden and the Rev. Thomas Ondra, currently appointed to First UMC, Sun City, will both enter into retired status effective July 1, 2020.

Please pray for Rev. Hedden, Rev. Ondra, Rev. Butcher, his family and First UMC during this time of transition.

 

 

 

The Rev. Mark Conrad, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the South District, announced that he intends to assign Rolly Loomis as Director of Border Ministries at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church, Tucson, AZ, effective March 1, 2020, serving as lay person assigned, less than full time per paragraph 205.4 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline.

This is a new position for St. Francis in the Foothills UMC.

We are excited for the possibilities this assignment offers and ask you to pray for Rolly and St. Francis in the Foothills UMC during this time.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This