Rev. Margaret Gillikin to return to local church; Rev. Chris Carr to be new Trinity District Superintendent

April 22, 2019
After five years of serving on the Cabinet as a District Superintendent, the Rev. Margaret Gillikin will be returning to the local church as Bishop Karen Oliveto intends to appoint her as the lead pastor of Helena United Methodist Ministries in Helena, Montana. Her appointment will be effective July 1, 2019. We thank Margaret for her many years of service in the Mountain Sky Conference.

"Margaret has served the people of Trinity District faithfully, listening deeply, helping dream, and equipping pastors and laity for their ministries," said Bishop Oliveto. "She brought tremendous wisdom as well as joy to the Cabinet table. My prayers are with her and the Helena United Methodist Ministries as they prepare for their life together."

As superintendent of the Trinity District, Margaret has focused on helping congregations shift the focus of their attention from surviving to thriving through missional engagement in local communities, so that our churches might increasingly embody Jesus’ calling in Matthew 25. During her tenure on the Mountain Sky Cabinet, Margaret has become the "Fun Fairy" – not just for the Cabinet, but for the whole Conference – sharing the energy of rejoicing in the Lord always through play.

Before becoming district superintendent, Margaret served as pastor at Salida United Methodist Church in Colorado from 2008 to 2014; First UMC in Casper, Wyoming from 2003 to 2008; and in Brandon, Wisconsin. She was ordained an elder in 2006. She also volunteered in youth ministry as a lay person at Littleton UMC in Colorado. Additionally, Margaret is a certified mediator in the state of Colorado and enjoys painting landscapes with pastels. She looks forward to resuming choral singing, serving in community organizations like Habitat for Humanity and most of all, "delighting in the rhythms of congregational life."

"It has been a blessing to journey beside God’s beloved in southeast Colorado, lay and clergy alike, for the past five years," Margaret said. "You have been generous in sharing your resilience and receiving my hope as we have made our way in faith together. Shalom."

Helena United Methodist Ministries in Montana includes St. Paul and Covenant United Methodist churches.

Bishop Oliveto then intends to appoint the Rev. Chris Carr to serve as Superintendent of Trinity District, effective July 1, 2019. The Trinity District covers a large area of southern Colorado, from the mountains of the San Luis Valley to the eastern plains. Chris is currently serving Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church in Englewood, Colorado. He is also the co-chair of the Congregational Vitality Committee for the Mountain Sky Conference. Chris has previously served on the Board of Ordained Ministry as co-chair of the Order of Elders and on the legacy Rocky Mountain Personnel and Policies Committee.

Bishop Oliveto said: "Chris Carr has served the conference well as the co-chair of Congregational Vitality Committee. He brings a deep love of congregational ministry as well as thoughtful, reflective leadership that will assist our Trinity churches as they help their members grow in discipleship and find creative ways to share the love of God in their communities."

"At this historic time in the life of The United Methodist Church, it is an honor and privilege to work with the congregations and clergy of the Trinity District, as well as Bishop Oliveto's Cabinet, to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," Chris said about his appointment. "While we don't know yet exactly where the denomination is headed, we know for certain that God – in whom we live, breathe, and have our being – is dreaming and moving and pouring grace into our lives. I'm as enthusiastic as ever about the Spirit-led future of the people called Methodist!"

Chris has served numerous churches in the conference, including Meeker United Methodist Church in Colorado from 1998 to 2003; First UMC in Longmont, Colorado from 2003 to 2005; Rocky Ford UMC in Colorado from 2005 to 2006; and First UMC in Gillette, Wyoming from 2006 to 2010. During a four-year voluntary leave of absence, Chris worked as a substitute teacher for Gillette Public Schools and as assistant director in the city's community corrections facility. His ministry with the homeless has included Giving Heart Englewood in Colorado and the Samaritan House in downtown Denver.

"My time outside of local church pastoral ministry has given me a glimpse at how irrelevant our churches often seem in our communities," Chris said. "I've also seen the tremendous potential for getting outside our walls to discover and join in where Jesus is already hard at work. This is how we earn the privilege of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a world thirsty for living water."

Please pray for Margaret, Chris and their families in this time of transition.

Appointments will be finalized at Annual Conference in June. A list of appointments, assignments and current church openings is available on the Mountain Sky Conference website.