Recently, Christ United Methodist Church heard, with joy, from our Bishop, Larry Goodpaster, that the Rev. Mark Norman Vickers has been appointed as the new pastor at our daughter church, St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church, serving one quarter time to Christ Church and three quarters time to St. Timothy’s.
Mark will begin this appointment on January 1. Our joy finds its source in this news for numerous reasons: First, Mark is a great preacher and pastor. Christ Church and St. Timothy’s will be sharing a superlative member of the clergy. For Christ Church, Mark will contribute much but especially in helping the pastoral staff with his long term relationship with the people of Christ Church. In the new year, Mark will increase his service to Christ Church from three hours per week to ten hours per week providing pastoral care, bible study, and hospital visits.
When John Bletsch transferred to another conference and Susan began serving the church eternal, some forty years of “pastoral and institutional” memory was lost. Now, with Mark on the Christ Church team, even part-time, Christ Church gains the experience of a pastor who has great insight into the congregation.
Moreover, St. Timothy gains a pastor of great extroversion, passionate outreach skills, and great credibility with their “mother” church in a time when they are in need of caring. Mark will be providing weekly sermon series, engaging in pastoral care, serving as a leader and liaison for current and future committees, and working in conjunction with programs at CUMC. This initiative is an opportunity to strengthen the body of Christ at St. Timothy’s and allows Mark the opportunity to serve our community in a way he has not been able to in the past.
A final dimension of joy is that Mark and Thompson will remain in their home. Your Staff Parish team and your church staff team are particularly thrilled that this appointment provides Mark with the required service needed to move from the United Methodist “honorable leave” status, back into having an appointment guaranteed for the rest of his ministerial career. God has been gracious through the church in providing both for the church and the Vickers family. Please keep Mark in your prayers daily as he re-engages his calling to serve Christ and His church on a full-time basis.
Rev. Michael F. Bailey, Senior Pastor
Merikay Tillman, Staff Parish Committee Member