Ethan UMC Update

July 31, 2020

Dear Members of Ethan United Methodist Church,

As you know, Pastor Jordan has been on renewal leave for the past six weeks. This has been a time for he and Alyssa to discern where and how they feel called to live out their ministry.

During this time, he has been working with myself, seeking help from a spiritual direction/career counselling service we utilize for clergy, visiting with older clergy mentors and also meeting with his counsellor and a spiritual director. He and Alyssa also spent time at Storm Mountain Camp
for a retreat. These practices have helped him discern what the best course of action is for him at this time in ministry and what the best course of action is for him and Alyssa as a family.

This discernment has led Jordan and Alyssa to determine that it would be best for Jordan to move to a half-time appointment in ministry as a pastor. This reduction of appointment time will low him some margin for continued discernment and exploration of his gifts and calling in
ministry. Additionally, he and Alyssa have also determined that moving into Mitchell would allow for some space between the ministry and personal life—space that would help them get clarity on what might be the healthiest future steps in vocation and ministry for them together. Because
of this discernment, the Bishop and the Cabinet have made the decision to appoint Jordan to a single, half-time appointment to serve Ethan United Methodist Church. I will be working with e Alexandria church to ensure they have pastoral leadership as well.

I know this news is met with a lot of mixed emotions—thankfulness that Jordan is in a better place emotionally and spiritually and relief that he will be continuing with your congregation, but also uncertainty for what this means for the long-term future. I also know there are a lot of questions swirling about in you and amongst you. It is natural to want to find something concrete point to as an explanation for this change—a clear reason this happened, a clear person to blame, a clear solution to prevent future change.

Unfortunately, in situations like this, there aren’t clear, concrete, simple answers. Jordan is doing the intentional work of identifying ways God is calling him to learn and grow through all of this and I would invite all of us to do that as well. We are all a work in progress, all in need of grace,
all learning what it means to live after the example of Christ. I will continue to work with Pastor Jordan and the PPRC to support this learning and growing as individuals and as a congregation.

I would also ask you to continue to pray for Pastor Jordan and Alyssa and for the Ethan and Alexandria Churches. Though you may not share a pastor in this season, we are connected in our common mission. We are all a part of the Body of Christ. And as scripture tells us, when one of us suffers, we all suffer, and when one of us rejoices, we all rejoice.

Thank you for your continued support of Pastor Jordan and Alyssa and your continued commitment to share the Good News and grace of Jesus in the Ethan community and beyond.

Together in Ministry and Service,

Rev. Rebecca Trefz

Southeast District Superintendent