I'm going home. I'm coming home. -Pastor Nancy Patera

I’m going home. I’m coming home. This has been my mantra since mid-March when I learned that Bishop David Bard and the West Michigan Conference Cabinet of the United Methodist Church discerned that I be appointed as your pastor of LeValley and Berlin Center United Methodist Churches (UMC), effective July 1st.

I am not going to reiterate my record of pastoral ministry. That was included in my bio, but for three years, I have been living most of the week 45 minutes from home. I am feeling beyond blessed to be back home to continue to follow my call from God.

I think it is important as I begin my tenure as your pastor, that all of you have the opportunity to become familiar with that call, so I would like to share it with you.

I was first cognizant of my call from God in 2002 at the age of 53. To this day, I wonder if I wasn’t called until then or if I just wasn't listening. In any case, I believe the timing was perfect. Our children were adults and my husband and I had both grown in our faith while walking with Christ, to a point where I was comfortable saying yes to God and beginning the process of Candidacy for Ministry and Greg felt blessed to support me.

I have been called by God to preach and teach God’s word to both believers and non-believers and to care for all in my churches and in the communities to which I am assigned by the Bishop and his cabinet.

While reaching out to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, I work to enlighten them with the Truth of his love and grace, freely offered, but only given when willingly accepted. Because the United Methodist Church is connectional, I have also become fully aware of the importance of serving both the District and the Conference, as well as the local church.

I also feel called to interact with my colleagues in ministry. I believe that clergy often need to share confidentially with other clergy, we can also hold each other accountable to our call to ministry, and, sometimes, it is just refreshing to be in fellowship with others in the same profession..

In summary, I am called to preach and teach the Word of God, to care for all in my churches, and to be a shepherd, leading the churches in the areas of stewardship, evangelism, spiritual gifts, leadership, and programming. I should be involved in the local community, the District, the Conference, and interact with colleagues in the pastoral community.

Though we may not all agree on all issues, I pray that each of you will be willing to walk with me and pray for me in my desire to live out God’s call on my life.

“I’m coming home” and I can’t wait to arrive.

Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.

1 Corinthians 7:17 (NLT)


Pastor Nancy

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