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A New Pastor to Shepherd Us at Grace!

By Rev. Cindy Marino

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   There are several paths to ministry in the UMC. The path to ordination as an Elder (Pastors Cindy and Matthew) or Deacon (Pastor Tammy) takes many years. The church offers an alternative for those looking to serve, but not looking to put their lives on hold to attend seminary for four years.  This is the path of the licensed local pastor.

   Mark Himel has spent the last 18 months completing the requirements for licensing as a local pastor in the Northern Illinois Conference. I am happy to share that he has been appointed to serve at Grace UMC!  He may now perform the usual duties of a pastor, including preaching and teaching; leading in worship and liturgy; receiving new members; performing the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper; and performing the services of marriage, burial, and confirmation. As a local pastor, Mark is not ordained, but may pursue ordination if he completes additional requirements over the next few years. 

   Mark has served in many areas at Grace, most recently by developing a welcoming ministry for newcomers and assisting the Grief Care group. I am excited to have him joining the Grace clergy team! Although he is fully credentialed, Pastor Mark is generously serving without a salary. My prayer is that in the future, the budget will fully support his work and his commitment to Grace; not out of his need, but out of Grace UMC’s need to appreciate God’s work through him.