Three Congregational Resource Ministers join Mountain Sky team

January 07, 2019
Submitted by the Rev. Amy Gearhart
Senior Executive for Transition and Conference Culture 
Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church


Bishop Karen Oliveto and the Mountain Sky Cabinet are excited to welcome new Congregational Resource Ministers to two districts, as of Jan. 1, 2019. Trinity District Superintendent Margaret Gillikin has announced that Bishop Oliveto has appointed Major and Sarah Rettig to serve jointly as the Trinity District CRM team. The Rettigs are currently serving Limon and Hugo United Methodist churches in Colorado. They will each serve the churches for three-quarter time, and split the half-time CRM position.

Wyoming District Superintendent Jeff Rainwater has announced that Bishop Oliveto has appointed Laura Rainwater to serve as the Wyoming CRM. Laura will be appointed half-time time to Grace UMC in Cheyenne, Wyoming and half-time as CRM. Because Laura is Jeff's spouse, she will be supervised by another member of the Cabinet.

Senior Executive of Transition and Conference Culture Amy Gearhart said that “Laura has already been essential in coordinating and organizing the CRM cohort throughout the MSC in her previous part-time appointment as the Whole Church Initiative (WCI) Coordinator. Now that those resources have been made available through the work of CRMs and on our conference website, she will very capably assist our Wyoming churches with deepening their strategies and work of congregational vitality and community engagement."

A Congregational Resource Minister (CRM) is an important part of a district’s ministry team in the Mountain Sky Conference. This role equips local church clergy and laity to offer Christ to their community's deepest needs through a strengths-based approach. A CRM/CRM team is appointed to a part-time 20 hour/week ministry as an extension of the District Superintendent's work as a missional strategist. Most of our CRM/CRM teams serve an additional 20 hours/week as a local church pastor(s). The CRM provides a bridge between local churches and resources related to congregational development, leadership development, and community engagement. By utilizing these resources, both within and outside of the conference, local churches are strengthened in missions and effectiveness. 

A typically day for a CRM may include meeting with clergy or lay circuits, visioning about new congregational ministries with a church leadership team, or meeting with the District Superintendent to explore strategic locations for new church starts. They facilitate feedback between local churches and district leadership to attain the district’s strategic vision for vitalizing congregations and reaching new communities.

Rainwater and the Rettigs join a CRM Cohort that is still being developed. Based on an original vision of the MSC Cabinet, funding for CRMs would be phased in with three hires in July 2018, two hires in January 2019, and two final hires in July 2019.

The current MSC CRM cohort includes other CRM/CRM teams listed below:
  • Rev. Tiffany Keith, CRM, Peaks/Pike’s Peak District andAssociate Pastor, First UMC, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Rev. Betty Nguyen, CRMMetro/Mile High District
  • Revs. Amy and Eric Strader, CRM Team, West Montana District and Co-Pastors, Bozeman UMC, Bozeman, MT
Photo of Tiffany KeithPhoto of Betty NguyenPhoto of Eric and Amy StraderThe cabinet will soon begin the search for the final two CRMs for appointment as of July 1, 2019. These roles will be in the Montana East and Utah/Western Colorado districts.

Visit the mtnskyumc.org website in the coming months for more information about applying/serving in these roles. Please join us in welcoming our new CRMs as bridge-builders in the Mountain Sky Conference.