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.
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.
Jeannie Jensen & Rich Jensen - May-June 2022
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 & Marcy Halsted - Sept - Oct 2022
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.
John and Linda Norman came to San Miguel de Allende three years ago after John’s retirement as a pastor in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Linda’s retirement from Young Life where she served as Regional Coordinator of the YoungLives program in Alabama and Georgia. Upon leaving San Miguel, the Norman’s flew to Atlanta and boarded “Thor”(our grandkids name for our rv) where they spent the next seven months traveling from southeast to southwest dodging Covid restrictions and seeing as much as they could see.
John and Linda continue to volunteer with Young Life in San Miguel and in Griffin, Georgia where they have just bought a house. John has also accepted an appointment as a part-time pastor for a small, rural church in Northwest Georgia which will begin in July, 2021.
Linda and John enjoy facilitating Bible studies together with the hope that participants will be drawn more deeply into their faith journey and their love for Jesus.
They both enjoy hiking, travel, and anything outdoors. They especially love those wonderful Zoom calls with their eleven grandchildren(and their parents).
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!
Ken & Linda Roth
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.