September 23, 2015
Dear Colleagues and Churches of the SWC,
It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I inform you that the SWC Executive Board has unanimously selected the Rev. Dr. William M. Lyons as our Designated Conference Minister. Dr. Lyons is scheduled to be in place to begin his ministry with us on January 1, 2016.
Bill, his preferred name, comes to us with 30 years of pastoral experience. He is currently the pastor of St. John’s U.C.C. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for the past 11 years. He was ordained in the U.C.C. on October 13, 1985. A more extensive bio will be in tomorrow’s In the Loop newsletter.
While he will officially be on board in January, Bill will be present in the SWC for two significant meetings: the Mission Planning Meeting (October 24) and the Clergy Retreat (November 9 – 11). It is my hope that his presence at these two pivotal meetings will encourage the attendance of those eligible.
I would be remiss not to thank both the Search Committee and the Executive Board for their intense and diligent work during this search process. Special thanks is extended to Dana Bender, the Chair of the Search Committee; to Holly Herman, the SWC Office Manager; and to the Rev. Dr. Lee Albertson, the SWC Acting Conference Minister.
I also want to thank each of you in advance for your continued support for our Southwest Conference and the United Church of Christ. As we step into the future, let us do so in the belief that God is already there waiting to greet us in Jesus’ Name.
George A. Ault