A Word From the Pastor

A Word From the Pastor
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Note from Pastor Mike:

             Mansfield Trinity United Methodist Church is my sixth appointment in 30 years of ministry. I was first appointed as a student pastor to Green Springs Calvary United Methodist Church. I’ve served there for three years as I completed seminary.

            Then I was appointed to the Pavonia/Olivesburg United Methodist Churches for four years where we worked on a merger between Pavonia and Franklin United Methodist Churches.  I was then appointed for two years to the Franklin/Pavonia charge as we finalized the merger, and began to prepare for construction of a new facility and relocation.

            Then I was appointed for twelve years to the result of the merger, Faith United Methodist Church.  We began capital campaigns, acquired property, planned for construction, built the facility, and relocated across from the Crestview schools.

            Then the powers that be decided I needed a promotion and I was sent to Sunbury United Methodist Church for 6 years.  My time at Sunbury was very different from my former appointments since it is a much larger church in a very different community.  In the 6 years I was appointed there the community began to grow rapidly.  Small town Sunbury was predicted to be classified as a city in the next census.  When I first heard that, I jokingly said, “As a country boy, I feel like I'm getting out of here just in time.”

            Then I arrived at Trinity United Methodist Church - The Friendly Church in the Woods, which began a very different part of my career journey. The congregation has been very friendly and supportive.  I was just getting acquainted when Covid hit and everything changed. In the three years I've been here, I've had 3 major surgeries with a 4th on the way.  My health issues made retirement an obvious choice for me.

            The Apostle Paul’s words in I Corinthians 1-2 are very helpful at this point in my life's journey.  I hope his words in chapter 2 have been true of me at Trinity UMC and will be true of me in retirement as well: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.” (I Corinthians 1:1-4)

            I hope during my time here that you have grown in the faith and knowledge of Christ.  I know I have.  I want to thank you for allowing me to be your pastor during the many ups and downs of our congregational life for the past three years.  

            Now you will receive a new pastor, and I will go on to sort out retirement.  In these changes, I am convinced of two things and I hope you are too: God is good and God knows what he is doing.  So, one thing at a time, one issue at a time, one circumstance at a time work out your salvation with fear and trembling as you embrace a new leader and begin a new leg of this congregation's ministry. Make the transitions that lay ahead while trusting that God is good and that God knows what he is doing. 

            I also assure you that your new pastor will be a great leader for the next leg of your congregational journey.  I am also sure that he will lead new growth, new ministries, and extend a welcome to new arrivals while also caring for the existing church and its people.  Please allow him to lead you so that the church may be fruitful and productive.

Blessings, Pastor Mike Mack

Pastor's Ponderings from Paul Turner
(New Pastor come July 1, 2022)

What's in a Name?

          Hello, my name is Pastor Paul Turner and I am looking forward to being the new pastor at Mansfield Trinity United Methodist Church. I've been told by members of the church that the church is referred to as “The Friendly Church in the Woods”. My wife, Robin, and I have found that the church members we have met have, indeed, been friendly and that, in fact, the church is located in some woods.

          I got to thinking about the church's name and wondered what's in the name of a place, a person, or a group of people. I am reminded that Jesus Christ asked the Disciples a question in Matthew 16:13 NIV, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” When I teach a new member's class or confirmation class, I ask the class: who do you say Jesus Christ is and what does he mean in your life? For me, as a Christian, Jesus Christ is my shepherd who guides me through his gift of grace and love bringing fullness of life now and for eternity. Christ's grace and love calls me as a pastor to share his Good News by loving him, loving the people around me, and being an extension of his grace in all aspects of my life. When people hear the name

Pastor Paul Turner, I hope that people will see my ministry as one that shines with the grace and love that Jesus Christ has shared with me and encourages me to shepherd in other people. I love to serve side by side with the laity of the church and be present in the large community as well as being a grace-filled witness.

          Just to give you a little background into my life and Christian journey, I was born in Sharon Center, Ohio to Dale and Lois Turner, and have two sisters, Ruth Ann and Ronetta. Our father is a retired United Methodist pastor and had served multiple churches over the years. Some of you may know him from serving as the pastor of Christ Church in Ashland. I attended elementary school in Ashland until the end of third grade and then we moved to Mount Gilead.  I went to school there until the end of my seventh-grade year at which time the family moved to Poland, Ohio where I graduated from Poland Seminary High School in 1995.

          I obtained my Bachelors of Arts degree in History from Youngstown State University in 2001 and had several jobs over the years until answering a call into ministry in 2009. Starting in 2009 I was a local licensed pastor in the East Ohio Conference serving three rural churches in Freeport, Ohio while I was obtaining my Master's of divinity degree from The Methodist Theological School in Ohio. I graduated from seminary in 2014 and moved to serve Cardington First U.M.C. and was ordained in 2018.  

          On December 28, 2019, I married my wife Robin right before the Covid Pandemic broke out in 2020. Robin grew up in Cardington and is a certified physical therapist in the Mount Gilead schools. Robin has two children from a previous marriage and I have two children as well. Her daughter Cassandra is in her third year at Youngstown State and is majoring in business and her son Michael will be studying environmental sciences in the fall at Ashland University and running cross country and track for the Eagles. My daughter Aurie just graduated from the University of Akron with her Master's degree in accounting and is taking a job in Boston Massachusetts. Caleb my son will be attending Bowling Green State University in the fall and he is studying data analytics.

          In July I will be preaching a three-week sermon series entitled, "What's in a Name?". The series will look at the Holy Trinity and what our faith consists of when we say we are disciples of Jesus Christ. I will be sharing personal background and family information so you can get to know me and my family. We will look at what it means to have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and how we are called to be a Christian community in the world. Until then think about the question Jesus poses to the disciples and us, Matthew 16:13 NIV, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?". Looking forward to answering Jesus's question, growing together in his grace and love, and sharing it with the world.     

Blessings, Pastor Paul Turner