The Santa Clarita United Methodist Church is excited about welcoming its new senior pastor, Melissa MacKinnon, on July 4. Members believe that she will be able to easily jump into the church’s current ministries, and help it to grow in new and greater ways.
Rev. MacKinnon will be appointed by the bishop on July 1. However, she chose not to immediately start officially leading the church service. On July 4, she will attend as “one of the congregants,” a move which, according to Lay Representative, Bill Lively, shows her humility and down to earth personality. She will begin leading services on July 18.
MacKinnon received her Master of Divinity from Duke University in 1999. She most recently served as an associate pastor at Arcadia Church of the Good Shepherd Methodist Church. This is her first head pastor appointment. She is married and has two sons, ages 7 and 14.
MacKinnon has expressed excitement about continuing and expanding Santa Clarita UMC’s current ministries.
In 1957, Santa Clarita UMC started out humbly, meeting in homes, and has grown exponentially. It now has the means to provide facilities for other new churches in need of a building. Lively attributes Santa Clarita UMC’s long term success to the church’s ability to “re-create” itself as it adapts as need requires. One thing the church has not changed is its commitment to the community of Santa Clarita.
Santa Clarita UMC has provided relief for those in need by founding the Food Pantry, along with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and helping set up the Homeless Shelter. During the Northridge earthquake of 1994, the church, despite having suffered damage to its buildings, offered shelter and distributed food before the Red Cross was able to provide relief.
Education has always been an important mission of Santa Clarita UMC. In 1969, Woman of the Year (1981) and Santa Clarita UMC member, Margaret Schulte, founded the Laubach Literacy Center, a program to help new citizens learn English. In the same year, the church founded the Small World Preschool, committed to helping kids grow and develop with a close teacher/child ration.
The church regularly hosts Cub Scout, Boy Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous meetings, among others.
Santa Clarita UMC offers many more youth, adult, senior, music, and fellowship ministries along with two Sunday worship services, one in English and one in Korean.
The ministries of Santa Clarita UMC align with their mission statement posted on their website: “Because we choose to follow Jesus Christ, we gather together as a family to nurture and empower each other, so we can go into the community as the love of God.”
Santa Clarita UMC is located at 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, 91350. Visit their website, www.scumc.org , for more information.