Meet Kathryn Boren
St. John’s United Methodist Church is pleased to welcome Rev. Kathryn Boren as senior pastor to the church. Rev. Boren currently serves as the District Superintendent of the Big Spring District in the Northwest Texas Conference. “Being on the Cabinet,” says Rev. Boren, “has provided a broad perspective of ministry and many opportunities to learn about who we are becoming as Church.” Kathryn loves the local church and is eager to return to congregational life.
Across her ministry, Rev. Boren has been pastor in settings small and large, rural and urban, each with its own gifts and challenges. Prior to serving on the Cabinet, she was the lead pastor for nine years at St. Luke’s UMC in Midland, Texas. While there, this vibrant congregation increased the number of young families and completed two building projects. Ministry opportunities beyond the local church have included District Committees and the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Church and Society, and the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration.
Growing up in the Texas Panhandle, in the back shop of The Booker News, fostered a fondness for wide-open spaces and story telling. She graduated from The University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Latin American Studies and later a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology. Before seminary, she was a Mission Intern with the General Board of Global Ministries assigned to Honduras and New York City. These experiences deepened her commitment to the inclusive love of God lived out in community.
Rev. Boren enjoys travel as pilgrimage. She has followed the Exodus route from Egypt to Israel, walked much of the Camino de Santiago, toured Italy with a focus on St. Francis, trained as a labyrinth facilitator in Chartres, hiked the island of Iona, led a mission team to Peru with a side-trip to Machu Picchu, and many visits to Christ in the Desert Monastery across the years with frequent stops in Santa Fe. Her love of hiking helps balance her passion for making ice cream, she says.
Rev. Boren’s first Sunday at St. John’s is June 28; worship continues online.
Karen Wells, chairperson of the church’s Staff Parish Relations Committee, states, “Kathryn is a warm and compassionate woman who we are confident will be an ideal person to lead our church in Santa Fe. She self-identifies as a story-teller and a businesswoman, two qualities that I predict will be widely appreciated by our membership.” Karen continues, “As excited as we are to welcome Kathryn, we must say farewell to Brad Bennett, who has been our pastor for the last four years. Brad’s time with us will have a long-term impact. He worked tirelessly to secure long-term rental agreements that have resulted in stabilizing the church’s financial situation and has continually supported the growth and development of our ‘Bag-n-Hand’ Food pantry ministry that is currently serving hundreds of individuals and families weekly.”
Wells notes that while these transitions are challenged by the sheltering-in-place requirements of the global pandemic, the church continues to be faithful through online worshiping opportunities. Progress toward becoming a reconciling church that is accepting and welcoming to everyone — fostered under Brad Bennett’s leadership — will be continued by Kathyrn Boren, who pastored the only reconciling church in Northwest Texas.
Socially distanced, in-person farewell and welcome gatherings are being planned, and reservations will be required. Details are available HERE.