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Jelinek, Rev. Tom

I was born in Beloit, Wisconsin and spent my early childhood first in Chicago, then in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When I was eight, my family headed west, first to Deming, New Mexico, then to Tucson, where I spent the rest of my childhood, youth, and college years. I began attending St. James United Methodist in Tucson at the age of 18, and began my relationship with Christ there. Several years later, while at the University of Arizona, I moved my membership to nearby Catalina United Methodist.

While I was at Catalina, I felt the call to ministry. It took a while, but with God’s persistent invitation, I began the journey to ordination. I entered Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. in 1990, and over the next five years, earned Master’s Degrees in Divinity and Youth Ministry, while serving as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries at the United Christian Parish in Reston, Virginia. In 1995, I returned to our Desert Southwest Conference, and began my service at Trinity Heights UMC-Flagstaff. From there, I moved to Los Arcos UMC-Scottsdale, St. Mark’s UMC-Tucson, New Song UMC-Surprise, Heritage UMC-Las Vegas, University UMC-Las Vegas, First UMC-Yuma, Patagonia Community United Methodist, and a few weeks ago, began my ministry at First UMC of Glendale.

During my years of ministry, I’ve always enjoyed working with youth groups. I’ve deaned and served camps at Mingus Mountain, Pine Canyon, and Potosi Pines, and have helped plan and lead many district and conference youth events over the last 35 years. I also feel a strong calling to work on social issues, have served on local church and Conference boards of Church and Society, and have worked with interfaith organizations all over our Conference.

On a personal level, I enjoy spending time with family and friends; reading history, literature, and technical subjects; watching movies; and traveling. Music has been and is a lifelong interest and pleasure. I love virtually all kinds of music and enjoy singing and playing guitar. When time and resources permit, I also have a hobby of working on old radios, TV’s, phonographs, recorders, etc., and the occasional vintage auto.

What’s your story? I’d love to hear! Let’s get together and compare our journeys!

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