Matt's a small town Michigan native who transplanted to Kalamazoo in 2007. With a passion for working in the urban setting. Matt still dreams of someday living on forty acres with a goat. For now he settles with a plot at the Growing Community Garden. A reader, runner, backpacker, mountain biker, coffee drinker, guitar player and gardener Matt still counts his most important time outside the church as that which he spends as a husband and dad. Find Pastor Matt on Facebook and on his blog.
Dr. B. Jo Ann Mundy
Pastor of Worship and Justice
B. Jo Ann Mundy is the former co-Executive Director of ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity), and a Core Organizer-Trainer for Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, a national partner working collaboratively with ERACCE toward the institutionalization of racial justice in public and private institutions throughout southwest Michigan. Currently Jo Ann serves on the board of Crossroads and as Co-chair of the Board of the People’s Food Co-op of Kalamazoo, and as the pastor of Worship & Justice at Sunnyside UMC. As a founding mentor of the NIA Project, Jo Ann encourages the celebration of identity, purpose and sisterhood in adolescent women of color. Additionally, Jo Ann is a founding member of the Three Rivers Area Faith Community (TRAFC), an ecumenical faith-based social justice network of churches striving to build a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-generational anti-racist faith community in Three Rivers, MI where she completed her doctoral thesis Sacred Actions to Bring Racial Reconciliation. Jo Ann has enjoyed over 25 years of pastoral ministry. Jo Ann enjoys reading, music, her guitars and computers and, most of all, the young people in her life.
Rev. Dr. David Newhouse,
Pastor of Hospitality, Evangelism and Discipleship
David relocated to Michigan for retirement from full time United Methodist pastoral ministry in Northern Illinois at the beginning of 2015. David continues his drive for vital faith community. In addition to sharing in the ministries of hospitality, evangelism and discipleship, he is helping oversee the Growing Community Garden ministry for the east side of Kalamazoo, serves as a co-leader for a new 4-H club sponsored by Sunnyside UMC, works with campus ministry and is engaged with international and domestic mission experiences through the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission organization. David has long shared a deep concern for Christian witness around ecology and the preservation of a healthy earth as well as peace-making. Among his many other interests are gardening, grandparenting, travel and do-it-yourself home projects. His retirement calendar keeps him active and blessed.
Deacon Cara Weiler
With a passion for community and justice, working on the Eastside of Kalamazoo is a perfect fit for Cara. Also employed as a social worker at the Southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center, Cara works to connect the Church and the world. Her primary areas of focus are care for children and the environment. Also a mom, wife, gardener, backpacker, food enthusiast, and self proclaimed tree hugger Cara keeps active in the community, the church and home.
What is a Deacon?Deacons in the United Methodist Church are clergy ordained to a ministry of Word and Service. They work in both the community and the congregation in ministry that connects the two. Deacons exemplify Christian discipleship, create opportunities for others to enter into discipleship, and connect the needs and hurts of the people with the church.
OUR CORE VALUES
Love: God is love, therefore we are all born in love, by love, and for love.
Relationship: God is more interested in relationships than in rigid rules and religion.
Grace: By grace all people can be transformed in and through Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness: We are a community of imperfect people held together by forgiveness and God's grace.
Justice: In response to God's love for us we work for justice by committing ourselves to the causes that seek to bring hope, healing, and the fulness of life to all people and to all of God's creation.
Growth: We are building the Kingdom of God here and now. As we receive and practice love, relationship, grace, forgiveness, and justice, we will grow deeper in love with God, we will grow in relationship with our neighbors, and we will grow as a congregation to more fully represent the diversity of God's creation.