June 2017  
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This Week's Events
JUN

29

THU
Office hours
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
United Methodist Womens Crafts
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
JUN

30

FRI
Rep 'N Step Workout
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Staff
Pastor

Willem Romeijn

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! As I begin my ministry among you I first of all would like to express my appreciation for Pastor Chester Aumua and his ministry at Spanaway UMC. I trust that he and his family have been a blessing to you and that you have been a blessing to them! Please keep them in your prayers as they transition to a new place and a new stage in their lives. Secondly, I thank Al, your newsletter editor, for inviting me to share a few things about myself as we begin the process of getting to know each other. I was born and raised on a farm near Cuijk, a small town in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. I graduated from an Agricultural College in the Netherlands with a double major. Subsequently, I finished a one year course at a business school, completed my military service in the Dutch Army and ended up as an exchange student in a senior year at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma. It was at UPS where I first learned about the existence of “Methodists” and I learned that one could go to a seminary with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration! (Some folks had suggested that I should become a pastor when I was 16, but I had the wrong type of secondary school to pursue that.) I graduated from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1983 with a Master of Divinity Degree. Since 1983 I have been serving churches in Washington. In 1985 I was ordained as an Elder and became a member of the Pacific Northwest Conference. My wife Jo Dene also graduated from Garrett and is currently serving Montesano UMC. She has been appointed to Sunrise UMC in Federal Way starting in July. The fact that we are a clergy couple has meant for us that we often have been appointed to churches where housing was an issue. Thus we served many small churches and multi-point charges where only one parsonage was available, both in Eastern and Western Washington. We have three sons: Ben, Nico and Paul. Ben is married to Milly and is working as an engineer in Mukilteo while Milly is studying at the University of Washington. Nico finished his first year at Boston Divinity School and is currently working at Lazy-F Camp as assistant program director for the summer. Paul just graduated from South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia and will be moving with us to Spanaway. What are some of the things I like to do? I like to spend time with my family, even if that means talking with my brothers or sister in The Netherlands via Skype! I also like to read, study and travel. Since I am somewhat limited in what I can do due to a disability, having a pool close by has been a great help to me. I also like to meet (new) people and, where possible, talk with them about the good news of the gospel. One of my hopes is that there will be a renewed emphasis on small group ministry in United Methodist Churches. Originally the Christian Gospel spread through small groups/house churches in the early church. Small groups fostered the growth of Methodism under the direction of John Wesley and were the primary vehicle for the growth of Methodism during the early years of the USA. Many “un-churched” people found a spiritual home and experienced the support of a Christian family in small groups of Methodists when this country was born. The spiritual needs of today’s generations are just as great. Finally, as I write this I am in the midst of packing and saying goodbye to my congregation at Hoquiam UMC. The population of Hoquiam has shrunk drastically over the last few decades as people had to go elsewhere to find jobs. This has been one of the major influences on the churches in this community. I started out my ministry in Hoquiam expecting to be here only a few years. Instead, I feel very blessed by having been a part of this church family for the last four years! Even as we had to say goodbye to some people, mainly due to economic reasons, we also were able to welcome new ones who are now very active in the life of Hoquiam UMC. This has become a church were virtually everybody pitches in, as able, regardless if they are young or passed 90. I will not forget the kindness and generosity of the people at Hoquiam UMC. The Spirit of God has been evident here, and I trust I will see that same Spirit when I enter Spanaway UMC. I look forward to getting to know you and to be in ministry with you. ~Shalom! Pastor Willem