Hey! Hey! Elkhorn Hills UMC! You have five Kansans headed your way! We are super excited to become part of your community!
We are from the Wichita area. Christie’s parents and sister, as well as my younger sister, still live there. My parents moved to the St. Louis area while I was in college (they did give me the forwarding address!). We both graduated college in 2009, for those who are wondering how old we are.
Christie’s first regular church experiences were in high school, due to the incredible work of the youth ministry at Woodlawn UMC in Derby, KS. I grew up Southern Baptist, Bible Church, and Assemblies of God. Several of my friends were part of Cheney (KS) UMC and invited me to join them. I would have met Christie four years earlier if I would have followed my group of friends to college. She met many of them at the UMC affiliated Southwestern College in Winfield, KS.
I attended a Free Methodist college in McPherson, KS. Note: it was not free! However, it is where I fell in love with John Wesley’s Christian perspective, particularly regarding grace. In January of 2009, I accepted the Director of Youth Ministries position at Woodlawn UMC. You’ll have to ask Christie about her first impressions of me! (Hint: they weren’t good!)
Derby is a community on the edge of Wichita with a population in the mic-20,000s. The schools are some of the best in the area. It is growing rapidly and is a great place to raise a family. Sound like somewhere you know? Woodlawn was a great church for us to start out in ministry. Christie worked there for four summers, and I was on full-time staff for six years. During our biggest year we had over 150 6-12th grade students actively participating in youth ministry. We’ve been serving for the last four years two hours south of Elkhorn in Sabetha, KS. This has been our first appointment and has been a blast! I’d love to tell you more about our ministry journey, but I’ll save that for coffee sometime.
I am SUPER excited to join in ministry with you all. My first week will begin on July 7th. I’m going to be working with Cheryl to set-up opportunities to meet with you. My goal is to hear from you about our church. When we meet I’ll be looking for three things:
- Tell me about you.
- Tell me about your faith and how it connects with the church.
- Tell me one place God is challenging you to grow.
The important stuff! Christie is brilliant and kind. She has a social media presence which she uses to help people develop their health and fitness journey. This includes connecting them with products, but always is centered on the belief that changed people change people. She is an award-winning teacher! She has spent the last four years taking care of our girls.
We have Nora Mae (5), Luci Kaye (3), and Cate Ellis (1). They are named after their grandmothers, great grandmothers, and great grandfather. The girls and I have a bone disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). The girls have a collective 16 documented fractures in the last two years.
This does not slow them down! When you meet them you should not be afraid that they are going to fracture. They run and jump and hug like many children. However, they will fracture inexplicably. Luci has broken her femur three times from simply walking/dancing. This move to Omaha is great news for them because of the Children’s Hospital.
We love running and have already joined the Omaha Running Club. We cheer for the Chiefs, Royals, Shockers, and are excited to learn how to cheer for Big Red. I’m super pumped to play pickle ball and basketball in the evenings.
I think that covers it for now.
See you soon!