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.
During this time of the pandemic, our Ministers in Residence are not traveling to Mexico but are providing content for the YouTube virtual service that is being produced each week. Our live limited attendance worship service is being led by retired minister, the Rev. Joe Rider, who lives near San Miguel and comes to our temporary outdoor worship space every Sunday.
Newt and Julie Kerney are joining us for their sixth time, serving our church. Their first first visit was in
November of 2015. They were here last in February of 2019, and served us
for four months. They live in Bend, Oregon, an active outdoor community.
Newt is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
having served four churches in California and Hawaii.
Julie is retired nurse, having had a wide ranging career that included pediatrics, public health, home health, and working as a nurse consultant. She is a weaver, knitter, and creative chef.
Since retirement in 2012, Newt has been an interim pastor in English speaking international churches in Lithuania, Bali, and in San Miguel. Julie has served as a caring, parish nurse as well as a great friend to many of the members in those churches.
When not in San Miguel, they can be found at their cabin near Mt. Lassen National Park; wandering around in their travel trailer; kayaking on some mountain lake, or hanging out with their three married children and five grandchildren. They enjoy long distance walking, having walked across Northern England as well as the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. In 2018 Newt walked The Camino de Santiago, five hundred miles across Spain. Occasionally, they come back to their home in Bend.
Steve & Marcy Halsted - March-April, 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.
Jeannie Jensen & Rich Jensen - July & August, 2021
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.
Steve & Heather Winkler - September-October, 2021
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.
Kent & Jan Dorsey - November-December 2021
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.
Anna & Ellis Copeland - March-April, 2022
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 & Linda Roth - September-October, 2020 - Via YouTube
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.