As you are probably well aware, we have been without the work of an associate pastor since mid-August. While this has been a challenge in many ways, it has also been a blessing, as some have stepped up to new areas of service, others have tested their own call to ministry, and many have felt called to lift our church in prayer. For all of this, we say “thank you.”
We are pleased to announce that Bishop Peggy Johnson will be appointing the Rev. Chris Hardy to serve as our next Associate Pastor here at West Lawn, effective March 1, 2020.
Rev. Hardy is currently the pastor of First UMC in Bangor where he has been serving since July 1, 2017. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilkes University in 2005, majoring in criminology and minoring in sociology. Before being called to ministry, Chris served as a police officer in the City of Wilkes-Barre for eight years. After an early retirement due to an injury suffered on duty, he pursued his Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School, graduated in 2016, and was ordained as an Elder in 2018.
Pastor Chris is married to his best friend, Teisha, and together they have three children – Abbey (17) who will graduate from Bangor High School this year, Adria (11) who loves music and dance, and Gavin (10) who loves sports. They have two, small dogs, Leia and Chewbacca (yes, the like Star Wars). They enjoy hiking, watching sports (especially the Yankees and Cowboys), and playing board games together. Chris enjoys coaching youth football and baseball, riding his motorcycle, reading a good book, and enjoying fresh seafood. Chris and his family are very excited to be a part of West Lawn UMC and thank God for this opportunity.
Because of his children being in school, and Abbey being in her senior year of high school, Chris will start on March 1, but his family will not be moving to West Lawn until June. We would encourage you to begin to pray for the Hardy family now, and through this transition time for them and us. Pray, also, for the church in Bangor, as they are losing their pastor mid-year. And please continue to pray for the Haldemans, Rev. Andrea, Dale, Grace & Rachel, as they await the unfolding of God’s next chapter in their lives.
FINALLY, we are pleased to announce that Bishop Johnson is assigning our own Lisa Hoopes to the position of INTERIM LAY PASTOR, to serve our church in areas of worship, administration and pastoral care, effective Nov. 1, and continuing through the end of February.
Pastor Chris Hardy Lisa Hoopes