A Pastoral Update from Senior Pastor Molly Vetter

Dear Westwood Church:

We are in the midst of a lot of change! If you’ve been in worship these past two Sundays, you have heard that Rev. Kathy Cannon has announced her intention to leave her position as she retires from full-time ministry, and that Rev. Chris Spearman has chosen to leave our staff to accept a job outside the church. We wanted to be sure you heard that news, as both Chris and Kathy have been significant leaders in the life of our church. We will miss them, and are so grateful for the ways that they have given of themselves here.

We will want to celebrate their leadership! We invite you to be part of farewell celebrations for each of them on their last Sundays with us.

– On August 25, we will honor Chris and the ministry he has helped make possible here at church, including the growth of The Loft gathering.

– On September 29, we plan to honor and celebrate Kathy and her leadership in both family ministries and the administrative life of the church. (We had originally planned to celebrate Kathy earlier, but she has graciously agreed to phase in her retirement by staying in a part-time capacity through September.)

Our Staff Parish Relations Committee will be coordinating these celebrations. Please watch for ways to participate in showing our gratitude and in the telling the stories of how God has been in our midst, with the guidance from Chris and Kathy. If you would like to be on the team to help coordinate either celebration, please let us know.

We are also already at work, listening to the needs of our community and talking with others about who might next serve in the leadership of our church. We look forward to ways that we will be able to move forward together, for the sake the ministries we are called to as a congregation. We are confident that we will be able to find people who will be capable of continuing our church’s legacy of commitment to prophetic witness and grace-filled community, with an inclusive spirit. These decisions are made in conversation between our Senior Pastor, Staff Parish Relations Committee, District Superintendent, and Bishop.

Even as there are so many details yet to settle, we want you to know that we remain confident in our belief that God is doing a beautiful thing through our whole church. Our deep commitment to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God continues to guide our work. We see that there is a beautiful future ahead for us. We invite you to join together in prayer and work as we proceed through this transition together.

grace and peace,
Rev. Molly Vetter, Senior Pastor
Kenneth Crews, Staff Parish Relations Committee Chair