Pastor Search Committee
As members of the Search Committee, we want to express our gratitude for the trust you have placed in us over the last two years on our search for a settled pastor. During our search we had many ups and downs, and questions about why the process and journey we were on took the path that it did. We kept our faith in God and followed the leading of Spirit and feel that God has led us to the perfect candidate for First Christian Church (FCC-LC). During the candidate weekend we will give you a more detailed report on our selection process; but this article is to introduce you to our Settled Pastor Candidate, Rev. Bethany Meier, and her wife, Kelsee Evans.
During the candidate weekend, Bethany will meet with the Search Committee, Board of Directors, Committees, and the congregation. On Sunday March 15, Bethany will lead worship for us. Immediately after the service we will have a Congregational Meeting to discuss the Search Committee’s process and decision, the compensation package, and acceptance of the Pastoral Candidate by the congregation. If the congregation agrees to the question of calling Rev. Bethany, she will have the opportunity to respond, and the covenant between FCC-LC and Bethany will be signed.
Rev. Bethany Meier is a Midwestern Girl who has always dreamed of living in the Southwest. She was born and raised in Michigan where she spent most of her time doing theater, championing social justice causes, and eating lots of blue moon ice cream. If you ask her nicely, she’s happy to pull out her “hand map” and point out the various places she lived—including Hell, MI (yes, it does freeze over.)
While in Michigan, she attained a B.A. and an M.A. in Women and Gender Studies. She was hoping to pursue work in a non-profit that focused on rights for the LGBTQ community or for women. However, she kept feeling the pull towards becoming a Minister and finally accepted that calling and applied for seminary.
Bethany attended Central Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas and graduated in 2017 with an M.Div. While in Kansas, she fell in love with the United Church of Christ and worked for 6 years in a KC congregation. It was this congregation which walked her through both the discernment and the ordination process and was her first ministry call.
During her time as their Associate Minister, she was able to help the church grow in many different ways including: starting a youth program, starting a social group for folks in their 20s and 30s, organizing and volunteering at the church booth at KC Pride, reaching out to the local LGBTQ community, launching the first ever KC LGBTQ Wedding Fair, and much more.
Her time in Kansas also helped her to meet her wife, Kelsee Evans. Kelsee is a graphic designer and massage therapist who loves reading—especially LGBTQ fiction. She is excited about the prospect of moving from Kansas to the Southwest especially since there will be lots of amazing Mexican food to try!
Most nights you can find the two of them working on crocheting or knitting projects on the couch while marathoning RuPaul’s Drag Race, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the latest Netflix Original. They have three fur babies—a chihuahua mix named Hallie and two cats named Lady and Maia.
Bethany and Kelsee are looking forward to visiting with First Christian Church in March and hope to fall in love with Las Cruces!
Upcoming Call Weekend Schedule Eric Hays-Strom
We have almost completed the schedule for Rev. Bethany’s visit March 11 through 15. There are still some meetings to schedule. However, as of “Press time” this is the schedule as it stands.
March 11, 2020 – Wednesday
1:00 PM Rev. Bethany Meier & Kelsee arrive.
3:00 PM Meet with Worship Committee
6:00 PM Dinner with Search Committee
March 12, 2020 – Thursday
10:00 AM Meet with Faith Journey Committee
12:00 PM Brown Bag Lunch
1:00 PM Meet with Faith Action Committee
2:30 PM Meet with Rev. Donna Cavedon
5:30 PM Rev. Bethany & Kelsee Dinner with Paul & Deb Cook (President of Board)
March 13, 2020 – Friday
No set schedule, Rev. Bethany and Kelsee shown around Las Cruces and the surrounding area
5:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Attending a play
March 14, 2020 – Saturday
10:00 AM Meet with the youth of the congregation
1:00 PM Meet & Greet in Atrium – for entire Congregation
March 15, 2020 – Sunday
10:15 AM Lead Worship & Preach
Following Worship, Congregational Meeting