Pastor Mary Gay to retire & SPRC announces
a new staff configuration!

Mary Gay McKinney
Rev. Mary Gay McKinney

We’ve been blessed to have Rev. Mary Gay McKinney serve part time as our Coordinator of Congregational Care since 2019.  Earlier this spring Pastor Mary Gay shared her desire to transition from paid staff to active volunteer so that she can enjoy traveling and feel more retired.  God’s call upon our lives never retires and as she considers UMCG her home church, she will still be around to support our ministries and Pastor Lisa who will take over leadership of Congregational Care.  Pastor Mary Gay’s transition to volunteer service will occur in September.

Pastor Mary Gay wants us all to know how much she loves our church and that she plans to continue visiting those with whom she has visited and built relationships.  She will continue with some of her group involvements.  She knows first-hand how much supporting our pastors and lay leaders means, and that’s what she wants to do.

With Pastor Mary Gay’s upcoming retirement and Debbie Sampiller’s retirement in July, the Staff Parish Relations Committee has taken action on Ministry Architects’ recommendation of “Restructure for Today and Beyond” in auditing and reconfiguring our church staff. The most significant shift is moving toward specializing our staff for church growth and away from generalists equipped for maintenance of existing ministries through the creation of new specialized positions. 

Here is a brief summary of the changes to our staffing effective June 1:

Pastors Rob and Lisa have new roles. Pastor Lisa will be taking on the roles of Pastoral and Congregational Care with an emphasis on providing pastoral leadership to adults, missions, creation care and more. Pastor Rob will spend a minimal time on pastoral care while seeking to build relationships with new persons and young families, worship and leadership.

We’ve also created five new part-time positions: The Director of Operations will help bring organization and alignment to our ministries and seek to increase engagement in the ministries of the church. Carolyn Burnham will be moving into that role while still overseeing marketing and branding. To support Carolyn in this transition a new part-time role of Communications Assistant is being created to produce all our digital, social and print communications (i.e., e-news, Facebook, bulletins, etc) and support our worship video/streaming needs. We are hiring for this new position, click here for more information

Another new part-time position is the Membership Secretary which will connect the people and ministry with hospitality, administrative support and care. Our very capable Lorie Montanye will transition into this role after the Communications Assistant is active. Another open position is the part-time Financial Secretary that will handle our accounts payable and receivable, reporting, contributions and other finance related tasks. We are hiring for this new position, click here for more information.

Julie Popplewell assumes the last new, part-time position of Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries. Julie reached out to the pastors and SPRC with a new vision to build upon the work of Ministry Architects and engage our Jr. & Sr. High students, while also continuing with excellence in her role with children. 

Our Director of Music, Scott Stevenson and Director of Choral Music, Mike Popplewell remain in their positions. We’ve provided Scott more freedom to not always be on the organ or piano bench, so he can use his writing and directing skills to add new instrumentation and talent to our Music Ministry. Alex Johnson, our Coordinator of Audio and Media Arts, also remains in the same position. 

While we may have more individuals under our employ in this new configuration, we have reduced the number of our Full-Time Equivalents by nearly 1.0 and are planning to save roughly 5% on our staff budget, while also financially supporting our staff justly in this inflated economy. 

This summer as new persons are hired and introduced to the congregation and existing staff transition into their new roles, SPRC will keep the congregation posted on the progress of the new configuration. It may be confusing for a little while on who to go to with your needs, but we have a friendly staff who are happy to direct your needs to the right person as we all learn this new configuration together. 

Please save the date for a celebration of Debbie Sampiller’s ministry during coffee hour on Sunday, July 24, 2022. 

Keith Eakins, SPRC Chair and Pastor Rob Hamilton