Meet Shannon, The Newest Member of our Team

God has a way of lining things up perfectly. 
For Shannon, God has offered a lot of quiet and not so quiet nudges on her journey. I will leave it to you to ask her about her story, but for now I am excited that God has lined it up with ours. I first met Shannon at Northeastern Seminary. I was privileged to be a GA (Graduate Assistant) for J. Richard Middleton's "Biblical Worldview" class. The class seemed innocuous on the surface, but most students come out of it feeling like their perspective on faith and the world was run through a washing machine. Pastor Colleen was in that class and Shannon was right there with her. They were both exceptional students.

{For the new folks, Pastor Colleen used to be our partner at Dansville FMC and is now serving with Pastor Todd, who led our church until August 2020, at Pearce Church in N. Chili. The world of the Free Methodist Church is remarkably small}

Shannon started her Seminary journey while in the Nazarene church and has been exploring her own pastoral calling ever since. She found us Free Methodists while in school and stepped into our denomination as a Conference Ministerial Candidate (CMC). A CMC is someone who is pursuing ordination as an Elder (a pastor who works for the "conference"). For context, I was personally a CMC when I began here in 2017 as your Associate Pastor.

At the beginning of COVID, Shannon's husband Michael took a new role at Houghton College and their family moved to Nunda. They had a new baby and Shannon (wisely) chose to take a pause from her CMC process and focus on care for their little one.

Now that her little one is a toddler, she is ready to start back into the process and fortunately for us, God drew the Blankenship family toward our community at Valley Chapel. I have agreed to be her CMC Mentor, which means I get to walk with her as she practices pastoral ministry. She is going to be helping lead us pastorally during our worship services, preaching occasionally, joining in our leadership conversations, and leading some groups. Be on the lookout as she will likely start one up in just a few weeks.

I personally see Shannon as an answer to our prayer for more pastoral support as we transform into a community through whom God's love flows. She's told me how excited she is to serve alongside you all. So, when you see her on Sunday, (if you haven't already) be sure to introduce yourself, meet the family, and welcome her to the community!
On another note. God is on the move and we have some exciting new developments in the works that I'd like to invite you into. 
  1. TEEN SMALL GROUP: There is a group of adults who are banding together to start a small group for teens. If you would like to help out with this brand new youth ministry opportunity, or if you are a teen that would like to join in, then let us know and we will keep you in the loop as plans become more solid. [CLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED]
  2. MUSICIANS WANTED: Our praise band is soon to be without any rhythm instrumentalists (guitar and/or piano) and has openings for every other role (bass guitar, drums, singers, and accent instruments like electric guitar, violin, brass, woodwind etc.). If you play and instrument, would like to learn to play, or know someone who plays, then let us know, we would love to have you (or them) audition. [CLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW]
  3. TRUNK or TREAT: On Saturday Oct 30th, we will be hosting a trunk or treat in the yummies parking lot to share the love of Jesus through candy and refreshments for Warsaw's Trick-or-Treaters. You can participate by donating candy to be passed out or by signing up to decorate a vehicle and passing out candy during the event. [LEARN MORE HERE]

Ryan Rovito

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