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 home city and we provide a house for them to live in while they are here. If you are a retired minister and are reading this, and interested in exploring the possibility of being one of our Ministers-in-Residence, please contact us through the Contact tab 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, Episcopalians and others.
Mark Fenstermacher - March & April, 2020
Rev. Dr. Mark Fenstermacher was born in Brussels, Belgium to United Methodist missionaries. Mark lived in Europe, Africa, Indianapolis, Indiana and a small, coastal village in northwest Alaska as a child and teenager. A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Religious Studies and Political Science, he has a theological degree from Duke Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Parish Revitalization from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
In his ministry, Mark is known for unapologetically lifting up Jesus Christ in an open, gracious, welcoming way, stressing the church as the Jesus community where all are loved, and being committed to radical hospitality. His sermons are grounded in scripture, and he loves to use stories to help people see how the truth of God may speak to their lives. Mark believes that joy and laughter can be -and should be- a part of vital, soul-nourishing worship.
An ordained Elder in the UMC, Mark led large congregations for most of his working life in northern Indiana. Prior to his retirement this past July, Mark was the Lead Pastor at First UMC in Bloomington which serves a large university community. He has a particular passion for preaching, leadership development, youth ministry, and mission outreach. During his ministry one congregation “adopted” an elementary school and began a city-wide tutoring effort. In another congregation, the people gave generously to support a freshwater well campaign for Africa.
Mark is married to Sharon, who also has a degree from Indiana University, and together they have raised three wonderful sons. Sharon and Mark also have five beautiful grandchildren. Mark loves sports (he is an IU fan, a Duke fan, and a fan of the Chicago Cubs), traveling, reading, music and writing.
Steve & Heather Winkler - Our Current Minister - January-February - 2020
The Rev. Steven Winkler comes to the Community Church of San Miguel fresh on the heels of his retirement from the Protestant Community Church of Medford Lakes, New Jersey, where he had served as Senior Pastor for the past twelve years. Prior to his ministry in Medford Lakes, Steve, a graduate of Beloit College and Andover Newton Theological School, had served churches in South Royalton VT, Lima OH, and St. Johnsbury VT. An ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, Steve has been involved with the wider church through a long list of UCC Conference departments and programs and with local agencies and ministries focusing on older Americans, youth, and various peace initiatives. He also served part-time as hospice chaplain in St. Johnsbury. Husband of one, father of three, grand-father of two, Steve is looking forward to the new adventures retirement may afford.
Heather was born in Vermont, and grew up in Ohio. Heather and Steve met when both were undergraduates at Beloit College, in Wisconsin, where she received her BA, majoring in International Relations. While Steve was a seminarian, Heather worked in the Hispanic community in Boston as a social worker. She eventually earned an MEd, and worked for many years in Vermont and New Jersey as an elementary school guidance counselor. Since her retirement she has volunteered as a guidance counselor for a Christian elementary school in Camden, NJ. Her greatest joy has been raising their three children, but she also enjoys travel, gardening, music, and friends of all ages.
Anna & Ellis Copeland - November & December, 2019
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.
Ken & Joan Smith - Coming in June and July 2020
We are most excited about being in San Miguel once again with y'all - thank you for this opportunity! Joan was born and raised near Chicago and went to college at Mizzou; I was born near Cleveland, raised in Florida (hence the "y'all"), and went to both Princeton Univ. and Princeton Seminary in the 1960s. We met in Colorado (at a Young Life camp), were married in Seattle, and have since lived in California (the Bay Area), Colorado for many years, Arizona, and now Salem, Oregon since 2007. We've also lived in Brisbane, Australia, where Joan did a teacher exchange in 1996 (she's a mostly retired elementary teacher), 9 different times in New Zealand, where I've served as interim pastor in various churches beginning in 2002, and even a few months in Melaque, on the Pacific Coast south of Puerto Vallarta (where we came to know and appreciate Dean & Nancy Underwood). So we've learned to trust God's leading wherever he guides us and to appreciate the marvelous diversity of God's world and peoples.
We have 2 children and 5 grandkids, all living close to us in Salem. The grandkids range from almost 17 to 4, so they keep us hopping and are a real delight (most of the time anyway!).
Over the years I've served as both the pastor of small to medium sized churches, and also on the staff of large churches, and found all those experiences to be powerful expressions of God's love and people. Sometimes the challenges are great, to be sure, but it is special to sense God's guidance and leading of his people throughout the world. We are linked together as Christ's Body wherever we happen to be. And it's reassuring to know that wherever we are, God is!
Kent & Jan Dorsey
I have just passed the 40th anniversary of my ordination by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We are a small movement, but one of the few mainline churches born in North America in the early 1800’s. If you have never heard of “the Disciples” or Bethany College (founded by one of our founders, Thomas Campbell), you may be familiar with our flagship school – Texas Christian University.
Jan and I are back home in Southeast Kansas after a clergy career that took us to five pastorates, two college chaplaincies and three interim ministries in Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Florida. We have a home on a little lake outside of the small town, Girard Kansas, where we both were born and raised. It has been a joy to be back in the community and the church where we grew up, where we were married over 45 years ago, and where I was ordained. I completed my last interim ministry a few months ago, so for the first time in decades, retirement allows us to sit and sing together in the pews. Jan created her own career path while following a clergy spouse. She worked in event planning and academic fundraising and development at the University of Chicago and at my alma mater (Phillips Theological Seminary) and did various other development work. She concluded her working career with two stints as Assistant to Executive Directors at Philbrook Museum (Tulsa, OK) and Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens (Jacksonville, FL). We have a daughter, Sarah, who works in banking and finance in Tampa, FL, and a son, Gracin, who teaches online English to Chinese speaking persons while pursuing songwriting and guitar/mandolin gigs with local bluegrass/Americana groups. If grandchildren ever come our way, we will supply them with large doses of Vitamin N (Nature) at our home where we enjoy fishing, kayaking, bicycling and birdwatching. If we’re stuck indoors for amateur days, Kent breaks out the guitar, harmonica and piano and Jan gets out the watercolors or some other art project. Retirement (which Kent enthusiastically refers to as a salary without a job description) allows more time for reading and wide-ranging conversations.
Steve & Marcy Halsted - Coming again in 2021
Marcy and Steve have lived in Cary, NC for the past 15 years as Steve has served Community UCC in Raleigh, NC from January 2002 until retirement in January 2015. They have been married for 45 years and have two adult children and four grandchildren. Steve and Marcy met at the Univ. of Connecticut, where Steve graduated with a B.A. in History and Marcy with a B.A. in Sociology. He received an MDiv. from Boston Univ. School of Theology and was ordained in the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ. Marcy did further study to become a public school elementary education teacher.
Steve has served UCC churches in Belmont MA, (just outside of Boston), and in Williamsburg, MA (for 3 & 6 years), then made a big move to Church of the Good Shepherd UCC in Albuquerque, NM. After 10 years there he received a call to pastor Community UCC in Raleigh, NC.(13 years) until retirement.
Marcy taught public school in MA.,NM., and NC. before retiring and taking up part-time work in the children's department of the Wake County Public Library system. She retired from that work at the end of 2017.
Steve’s interests in ministry lean toward spirituality and faith formation, social justice, environmental justice and interfaith ministries. He continues to be involved in the NC Council of Churches environmental justice program: Interfaith Power and Light, and the Triangle Interfaith Alliance (Raleigh-Durham-Cary). He has also been chosen to co-lead the newly formed Climate Justice Network for the Southern Conference of the UCC.
Steve and Marcy both love to travel and meet new people and experience new places. They enjoy music (Steve plays guitar), gardening, and grand-parenting. Hiking and exercise are part of our routines to stay physically fit, and Marcy is an excellent cook using wholesome, healthy foods.
Their son, Jay (37) lives in Atlanta with wife Sarah and two little children,
Emery 3 and Benjamin 1. Their daughter Elizabeth (34) lives in Raleigh with husband Matthew and two children, Avery 8 and Davis 6. They enjoy family gatherings and opportunities to sit for the grandkids when they arise.
Ken & Linda Roth - Coming September-October 2020
Ken was our very first Minister in Residence. We continue to welcome Ken and Linda back with us every year.
Rev. Ken Roth, a United Methodist minister, retired from 43 years of active service in 2010. This will be his fifth time as Minister-in-Residence at the Community Church. After completing his Master’s degree in the late 60’s, he went to New York City for inner-city training. He and his wife Linda, also a United Methodist minister, lived in East Harlem and participated in the ministry of The East Harlem Protestant Parish. Following that, the couple moved to North Carolina where Ken began work as the director of an inner-city ministry program. Clinical training at the Medical College of Virginia followed his inner-city work, and Ken continued to learn both psychologically and spiritually how to effectively serve others. He feels this training was, perhaps, more important for him than his seminary training. Ken has served small and large churches from the mountains of North Carolina to the central piedmont. He has spent his last 22 years in and around Charlotte. He feels most at home as a teacher and as a counselor. His sermons tend to push at the mind as well as the heart.