Our Minister in Residence Program
The Community Church does not have a permanent minister. Rather, it has developed a unique program whereby retired clergy from the US are typically invited for a period of two months to lead our worship service on Sundays and assist in the spiritual and other short term needs of the congregation during their stay. We provide round trip transportation between San Miguel and the minister and his/her spouse's closest to home airport and we provide an apartment for them to live in while they are here. If you are a retired minister and are reading this, and are interested in exploring the possibility of being one of our Ministers-in-Residence, please contact us through the Contact page on this web site.
Currently we have several ministers who have returned one or more times. Our ministers are ordained in various denominations such as: Presbyterian, United Methodist, ELCA (Lutheran), United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalians and others.
Steve & Heather Winkler - Jan-Feb, 2023
Steve and Heather Winkler first came to the Community Church in 2016. Steve, an ordained United Church of Christ pastor, served churches in Vermont, Ohio, and New Jersey, and retired after 44 years of active ministry. This will be Steve’s fifth stint as Minister-in-Residence, including a “virtual presence” last November and December. He and Heather, who retired from a career as an elementary school guidance counselor, live in Woodbury, Vermont.
The Winklers celebrated their fiftieth anniversary January, 2020, during their time in San Miguel. They enjoy their weekly family gatherings on Zoom which bring their three children, their spouses, four grandchildren (Jasper was born last December) “together” for lively conversations, games, and weekly updates. Heather is an avid gardener, Steve recently started playing drums with a nearby town band, and both enjoy some games of pickleball.
They look forward to sharing with the Community Church family and gathering for worship in the new worship setting!
Neal & Carolyn Sadler - Coming in March - April, 2023
Neal Sadler is an ordained minister and lifelong member of the United of Christ. A former actuary, he served UCC churches in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio for 35 years, before retiring from United Church of Christ, Congregational, of Medina, OH. In retirement he has served churches in short-term ministry situations. His wife, Carolyn, is also a former actuary, and happily retired.
Neal has walked with his congregations through strategic planning processes, capital campaigns, governance restructuring, worship re-visioning, Christian education redevelopment, and much more. Above all, he has journeyed with them through the joys and challenges of life together as a community of Christ seeking to love and serve God.
Neal enjoys communication through story, sometimes creating sermons that present biblical truth in narrative form. In retirement, Neal published Looking for Life on the Way to the Grave. The book comprises stories of parishioners as they encounter doubt and belief, fear and faith, humor and laughter on the way to the grave.
Neal has had a special interest in missions, both local and global, and has led mission trips, both overseas and in the U.S., including more than 20 to Mexico and Central America. His Spanish, unfortunately, remains atrocious.
Neal and Carolyn find themselves travelling a great deal, visiting their children and granddaughter in Vermont and their parents in Indiana. They enjoy long-distance hiking in Europe and riding their tandem on bike trails throughout the U.S. Neal backpacks annually in the wilderness areas of the Rocky Mountains.
Jeannie Jensen & Rich Jensen - Returning for July - August, 2023
Jeannie is an ordained United Methodist elder, serving in active ministry for 30 years. Her most recent appointment was Senior Pastor of First UMC in Emporia, Kansas, before retiring in July 2018. She graduated with a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, where she now serves as adjunct faculty for the United Methodist Course of Study program. She enjoys preaching and helping people connect God’s story to their story. She has a passion for mission and currently serves on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization in Guatemala, the Organization for the Development of Indigenous Maya (ODIM.)
Rich is an architect whose experience spans from small firms to corporate architecture to private practice, and most recently Assistant Director of Facilities at Emporia State University, until his retirement in April 2019.
Jeannie and Rich live on 12 acres of rural woodlands near Oskaloosa, Kansas, in a house that Rich designed and they built themselves over a period of ten years. They enjoy traveling, kayaking on a nearby lake, and spending as much time as possible with their two daughters and sons-in-laws, and four grandchildren.
Jeannie served us via our virtual services on YouTube during May and June, 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Anna & Ellis Copeland - Served March-April, 2022 Next Visit TBD
Author, Pastor, and Founder of The Copeland Institute, The Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland most recently served as Senior Minister of First Parish Church, UCC in York, Maine. Anna previously served congregations in Greeley, Colorado and Hinsdale, Illinois.Through worship, teaching and writing, she seeks to equip people of faith to think theologically about the world in which we live and to empower personal transformation and community renewal for a just, merciful, and peace-filled world.
Anna graduated with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. As a recent Trustee at CTS, Anna advised doctoral graduate students in preaching. As a former Board member for the Fund for Theological Education, she supports church leadership development. Anna has also taught graduate classes at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Anna advocates through global partnerships with Common Hope in Guatemala and Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. and Central America. Avocations include wilderness sports such as a women’s’ trek in the Arctic Circle, mountain climbing and kayaking.Dr. Ellis Copeland serves on the Church Council of the UCC Church of Longmont Colorado where Anna and Ellis are members. Ellis is an author, Emeritus Faculty of Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado, and most recently the Academic Dean of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is a Ph.D. Psychologist and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Now retired from academia, Ellis is an avid tennis player and outdoorsman.
Ellis and Anna currently collaborate in their work, Healthy Habits for Life, supporting the health and spiritual transformation of guests at their retreat center high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Our Curren minister: Tony Robinson - Nov-Dec 2022 - Next visit TBD
Tony and Linda Robinson live in Seattle, Washington where Tony served as Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, from 1990 to 2004. Linda is a retired school principal who served in several elementary schools in Seattle. She is also a certified yoga instructor. They spend much of the summer at a family cabin in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, where Tony’s family lived for several generations. While he returned to Oregon often as a child, he did most of his growing up in the Washington, D.C. area. Linda was born and raised in Honolulu. They met at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
After 30 years in pastoral ministry, Tony began a second career as a seminary teacher, consultant and speaker at church conferences and clergy continuing education events. He continues to do some consulting. Currently, he is assisting Vancouver School of Theology (Vancouver, B.C.) in the re-design of their Theological Field Education program. He is the author of many books and articles and blogs regularly at www.anthonybrobinson.com
They have three children and five grandchildren, ages 5 - 11, all of the grands in the Seattle area. Their daughter, Laura, is a UCC minister who is the pastor at Peace Church in Clemson, South Carolina.
Both Tony and Linda enjoy painting; Linda in watercolor; Tony in acrylic. Their work has appeared in several exhibits and shows in the northwest. Throughout COVID Linda has taught yoga on-line. Prior to that she had a practice teaching yoga for people who had some disability. Tony volunteers as a naturalist in the Seattle Parks. He has also participated recently in building “Tiny Houses” for Seattle’s homeless. He enjoys cycling, skiing and backpacking in the Wallowa Mountains with his children and grandchildren. They are both avid readers and participants in book groups.