In the United Methodist way, this is a season of transition. Many churches are offering a farewell to their pastors as they celebrate a ministry together. It is a time to express thanks for their shared ministry and bless the pastor into their next appointment or season of retirement.
In the North District, there are several pastors and churches in the midst of this time of transition. At the coming Desert Southwest Annual Conference session of June 13, Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata will make the official announcement and fixing of the appointments.
We acknowledge two of our pastors who are entering retirement beginning July 1.
Jim and Lynn Wallasky, serving Green Valley UMC of Henderson, NV. After over 40 years in ministry from Nebraska to the Desert Southwest, Jim has served many churches in faithfulness and joy. We offer prayers, blessings, and love as Jim and Lynn make their retirement home in Nebraska.
Billy and Judy Martin, serving Community UMC of Williams, AZ. After 30 years in ministry across our Desert Southwest Conference, Billy has brought joy and passion for sharing the good news of Christ. We offer prayers, blessings, and love as Billy and Judy make their retirement home in Arkansas.
This week marks another transition in our district, our conference, and in the lives of two friends in life and ministry — Gwen and Carla.
May 28th is the day our North District Administrative Assistant, Gwen Watson, completes her 16 years of service with the Desert Southwest Conference. We celebrate our ministry and friendship with Gwen and bless her forward into retirement. Though she will greatly miss her home and friendships in Las Vegas, Gwen looks forward to her relocation to Nashville and being near family.
June 1st marks the day in which Carla Whitmire begins to serve as the Administrative Assistant for both the North and West Districts of our DSC. Carla has served as the East District AA for 7 years. It is a joy to welcome Carla into ministry with the North District. She is an experienced and professional Administrative Assistant with a call to serve the ministry of Christ by supporting our local churches through the district office and in connection with our larger conference ministry. Because of their connection through the years, Carla has received excellent support and guidance from Gwen for this time of transition.
Receiving Carla as the North District AA is not the only transition we are experiencing in our office. Carla’s physical office will be at the Desert Southwest Conference Center in Phoenix. In recent years, we have transitioned away from our traditional office space to home offices for Gwen and myself. In that transition, Gwen has worked to digitize our files, shift our communication practices, and give a personal face in a technical world.
Carla will serve in the same office suite as the South and East District AA, Cynthia Holly. The North District office relocation will enhance the efficiency and coordination of the DSC districts. Cost savings will be realized along with a supportive collaboration of the two AAs. We will create opportunities for the lay and clergy leadership across our North District to meet Carla. The North District phone number will remain the same (702-369-7055). The mailing address will be Desert Southwest Conference/North District, PO Box 32830, Phoenix, AZ 85064.
I will continue to reside in Las Vegas and my office at home. I prayerfully anticipate that soon I will resume my usual travels across the district to meet with clergy and laity. In the meantime, we meet over the phone and on the web as we continue being a connectional church as the body of Christ.
In Grateful Appreciation,