Shared by Paul Bejgrowicz, Chairperson of Staff Pastor-Parish Relations Committee on Sunday, Feb 28:
“It is my joy to share with you today that Bishop Jon R. Schol has appointed Kate Hillis as the new pastor of our congregation. Reverend Hillis will begin her new responsibilities on July 1st of this year. As a United Methodist Church we are part of an appointment system. Our congregation’s staff parish relations committee has met with the district superintendent to identify our congregation’s needs and the needed skills in a pastor. We have also met with Kate to better get to know her and to ask questions.
Kate Hillis has spent the last seven years doing ministry in various settings. She has served as a pastor in the local church, director of youth and children’s ministries in New Jersey and New York, and as chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. Kate is also a contract consultant with Ministry Architects, a church consulting organization based out of Nashville, TN that helps churches create sustainability in their ministries.
Kate holds a B.A. in Religion and Youth Ministry from Houghton College (New York) and a M.Div. and a M.A. in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is a passionate leader and gifted preacher, she desires to inspire the Church to live transformed by the love of Christ and rooted in a deep commitment to radical hospitality and a sense of responsibility to the created world.
Kate is married to Wren Hillis, a Drew Theological student who is also pursuing ordained ministry.
We would also like to thank our current pastor, Dr. Ken Robinson and his wife Ronda for their time of service with us, as well as wish them well as they begin in a new chapter of their life’s journey. We have been blessed to have their dedication and commitment to our church and community for these past 24 years.
I believe I speak for many, but I know that I am personally grateful for Ken’s mentoring, leadership, and spiritual guidance, but most importantly his friendship in all his years of service to us. And to Ronda, for her steadfast devotion to our church in too many ways to mention but most notably her leadership as Praise leader and pianist.
Ken and Ronda have been an impactful team, the glue that has kept our congregation growing, from SPAM to the Road to Somewhere and beyond. Their inspiration and guidance has kept us relevant and never complacent.
Kate has shared with us that she has received support and mentoring from key people within her journey, and I know that she will benefit from their counsel in our transition and together with her exuberance and love for Christ will take us to our next phase at the Hopewell United Methodist Church and to continue to grow in our walk as a congregation.
Our new pastor will work with us and the conference so that we continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Bishop Schol and the leaders of the Greater New Jersey Conference will work with us to continue to grow as a vital congregation. I know you will join the Bishop, our new pastor and me in helping to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Thank you and God bless everyone in our Hopewell United Methodist Church!”