Hello New Friends of the Stuart-Mount Vernon UMC!
My name is Jenny and I couldn’t be more excited, nervous, happy, anxious, and ready to be your new pastor. 🙂
We will have lots of time to get to know each other, which I am really looking forward to!
I thought I might share a few things with you to get us started and so you know who I am. I have lived in the areas of Adair and Casey for over 30 years (with a few of those spent away exploring college life). Most of my childhood and growing up, I lived on a farm with my Mom, Step-Dad, sister, and two half-brothers where we are grain and livestock farmers. I absolutely love farm life, and everything that goes along with it. (Even though I live in town)
My husband Mike and I have been married for 20 years (on July 7). Mike works in West Des Moines every day where he does all the things that I dislike (numbers, spreadsheets, data). This is why we make a good team because Mike is left brained and I am right!
Mike has worked in the Medical Bill Review industry since his first job out of college and he loves what he does. When he’s not working he loves to fish, travel, cheer on the Jets (I know, keep him in your prayers), and be with family. Together we have 5 children. Our son Hayden is 19 and works full-time in Dad’s office as a bill review analyst. He lives in Ames and loves fishing and weight lifting.
Lauren is 17 and is about to begin her Senior year at AC/GC High School this fall. You’ll normally find Lauren working at the Casey Creamery, singing, or hanging out with her friends.
Our daughter Lucy is 13 and entering the 8th grade. Lucy loves softball, being with friends, and is anxious to get a learner’s permit in September
Jack and Millie are our 7 year old twins that will be in 2nd grade this fall. Millie likes being creative, playing dolls, she loves cats, and showing her Mom things on Amazon (thanks to her older sisters). Jack is an active boy that loves sports, games, and dinosaurs. And that is our children in a very abbreviated version.
As for myself, I love being a Mom and I love being a pastor. I’m hoping to share more of my story with you through our worship time together, especially in July. I love art, music, coffee and lots of it, laughing “too much”, and people. I overuse exclamation points and enjoy life! 🙂
Now, can I be serious with you for a minute?
My deepest passions are the church, mission work, and a relationship with Jesus. My dream is to have the church I attend be seen as a safe haven to those in the community. A place where you want to be, everyone knows you, loves you, and accepts you for who you are. No matter what. Full of people who offer a shoulder to cry on, to pray for you, to provide for your spiritual and physical needs in any way that we can when you are in need. The first place you run to with your joys and your sorrows and the first place you tell others they should come to as well.
I’ve had a heart for mission work for as long as I can remember. From the neighbor right next door to the people I’ve never met in a far away country, I am here for it all. I am very excited to see where God leads you and I in our time together in service to the Stuart community.
That leaves us with our relationship with Jesus. Both mine and yours. I want to see both continue to grow outside their current bounds. I believe there is always room for more growth and depth and that Jesus never stops teaching us. I want to dive into study with you and hear what you believe, what you want to know more about, what you question, and what you love. It benefits all of us to have lots of seats and beliefs at the table. I hope to see you there!
I also know that you may have fears and anxieties of the future after having a beloved pastor leave. LaTonya has been my mentor for a few years so I know a little bit about what you have had, and what you are saying good-bye to. I will not try to fill her shoes, because it’s just not possible. She has her own set of wonderful gifts and talents that will be very missed. I will bring my own self, and be authentic with you. I will encourage you to keep growing, learning, and getting outside your comfort zone! Most importantly, I want to stand with you as we discern together what God is leading us together. I am really looking forward to meeting you and learning more about you!
Thank you for welcoming me into your church family!
Peace and Grace,