Dear Friends at Covenant UMC,
I am writing this update with great joy in my heart. Some of you might know me and saw me grow up at Covenant. I can say with confidence, that if it were not for my years growing up at Covenant, and all the pastors, Sunday school, years of VBS, youth group, lock-ins, confirmation classes including my confirmation mentor, singing in the children’s and junior choir, singing in Risen briefly and my favorite youth outing of Bates Motel around Halloween; I would not be the Christian I am today. Covenant nurtured my faith and gave me a reason to enjoy growing up and growing in my faith walk. Each week, I looked forward to coming to church and seeing my friends, and my most cherished memories are sitting each week in the same pew with my mom and grandparents, that were a staple in my faith as well as here at Covenant. So Jane and Rens Swan (my grandparents), I hope you are watching me from above as I continue my journey, now as a United Methodist pastor.
That being said, I started to discern my call to ministry in 2016 with the prior pastor Jim Anderman. I was working as a social worker and just felt like my faith had more to offer people than a social work setting. It was no secret that I struggled with mental health over the years, and it was my faith that kept me going. I know I had many prayers coming from Covenant over the years. It has been a long journey, but I am proud to say that I have been pastoring the local United Methodist Church since 2019 first in Allentown, PA and now at Mountainhome United Methodist Church up in the Poconos. I just finished up my Masters of Divinity at United Theological Seminary and with the grace of God, I am starting the journey into commissioning as I write this, which is the first step to ordination in the United Methodist Church. It has been a year of changes, as my husband (Samuel Segal) and I also welcomed our miracle child, Thea Jane, into the world in October 2022.
I have had the privilege of talking with your pastor, Mark, through my ministry journey, and I can say that you have a loving and kind hearted pastor, who kept at me for sharing my story with everyone at Covenant. I truly believe that I would not be the pastor I am, without all my years of love and guidance at Covenant. Although I wish I could have come in person to share my journey with you, this year has been very busy with my new appointment, finishing seminary, and the birth of our daughter. But there is much to celebrate! Thank you Covenant UMC, for being my home for many years and I pray each of you have as many wonderful memories as I have over the years.
Pastor Kathryn Dinkelacker-Swan