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Meet Shelton UMC's New Pastor

Hello there!

I’ve just finished my farewell “epistle” to the beloved community of Ronald UMC with whom I’ve served the community of Shoreline for seven years, and it’s hard to know what’s important for you to know as we start what I hope will be another seven years of ministry together in Shelton. Do you need to know that I grew up in South Florida, graduated from a small United Methodist College in Lakeland and met Whitney, the love of my life at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia?

How much of my 58 years of life is essential to my introduction? I’m not a particularly private person. So, whatever I don’t share here, you’ll have plenty of time to hear about in the years to come, because I do love telling, and listening to good stories.

I have worked at two of our United Methodist Seminaries and served three United Methodist congregations in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference: eight years at Browns Point in Tacoma, nine years at Lake Washington in Kirkland and seven years at Ronald in Shoreline.

Whitney and I have four wonderful kids living in Bellingham and Kirkland, but you may get to see them from time to time when they come for a visit. Erin (they/them) and Bridget (she/her) are 25 years old, yes, twins. Blaine (he/him) will be 22 in June and is the only one we’re leaving in Kirkland, because our 19-year-old, Andrew (he/ him) will be transferring to Western Washington University in Bellingham for his second year of college.

Whitney and I try to stay healthy and active. We get up early each day to exercise and walk. We love gardening and are eager to employ more permaculture principles at the parsonage and at the Orchard Alliance. We’re looking forward to being close to so much water, and have some dreams of spending some time crabbing, fishing, and kayaking. Whitney is a certified hospice nurse with Providence Health. After a few years as a manager for several nurse/social work/chaplain teams, she transitioned this year onto the quality
team to continue to help improve care for patients and their families. Except for a couple of
times each year, she is able to work completely remotely at home.

You’ll soon learn that I like to keep my hands busy, and I’m not great at sitting still. In addition to projects in the garden, I like working with wood. I wouldn’t say I play guitar and banjo, but I play around with them, and if there’s an executive par 3 golf course around, I like a quick 9 holes. I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I really enjoy meeting people and making connections in the community, and as much as I am appointed to serve Shelton UMC, we are all called to serve the people of the community of Shelton and Mason County.

Above all, I take seriously Jesus’ call for us to love our neighbors, which is not a matter of
geography, but one of humanity. Jesus is always leading us to the margins, and to the
marginalized. Striving to follow Jesus’ faithfully, I continue to grow as an anti-racist pastor
committed to work toward God’s just and peaceable kingdom that is for all people.

I am excited to see what new thing God will do with us together in Shelton!

We’ve all been through a hard couple of years, (some more so than others). Somewhere along the way, I started saying “I love you” at the end of each Zoom meeting, class, worship service, and conversation. When we were finally able to start meeting face to face again, I decided we could all use more love. So, even though I’ve only met a couple of you, I
want you to know, I love you.

See you soon,
Pastor Kelly, Kelly, PK, or whatever suits you.

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