Mary Kathryn Loring
I am a born in the womb United Methodist and have grown up in a parsonage. My father was a retired United Methodist pastor in Indiana and my mother was his partner in ministry. I loved church and loved my family. It was a great maturing time in my life and my faith. I graduated from Monroe Central Jr/Sr High School in Parker City, IN.
After high school, I attended the University of Evansville where I earned my bachelor’s degree in music education. I taught off and on for four years while also working at St Joseph United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, IN. I met my husband, Mark Loring, when he came and “took my position” with the addition of organist so that I could return to teaching. That was in 1993 and we were married on June 24, 1995. In
December 1996, Mark grew out of his associate position at St. Joseph and we headed north to Grand Rapids, MI where he became the Director of Music and the Arts at Grand Rapids First United Methodist. Within six months, I too had been hired as his part-time Associate of Music and the Arts. Over the next 13 years, Mark and I worked and made a family together. Our son, Eric, was born in June 1998 and our daughter, Sarah, came along three and a half years later in November 2001. Eric will be starting his final semester at Western Michigan University in the fall and Sarah will graduate from Chelsea High School in May and start at Grand Valley State University in the fall. Mark is currently the Director of Music and the Arts at Chelsea First United Methodist Church, Chelsea, MI.
It was somewhere around the birth of Sarah that I began feeling a further call to ministry. It took me a while to feel confident enough to voice my call to become an elder in the United Methodist church and then an even longer time to fulfill that call. I became a candidate for ministry in December 2007, became a licensed local pastor in 2010, graduated from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in May 2014, was commissioned a provisional elder in June 2015, and hope to be ordained at annual conference in May 2020.
I have served Twin Lake United Methodist Church as lead pastor (2010-2013), Clark Retirement Community as Pastoral Care Coordinator (2013-2017), Jackson Calvary United Methodist Church as lead pastor and Jackson First United Methodist Church as associate (2017-2019), and most recently at Ann Arbor Calvary United Methodist Church as lead pastor. At Twin Lake United Methodist, I was honored to be the pastor who helped the congregation reach out to those living in poverty surrounding the church by leading them to create a community garden. At Clark Retirement Community, I supervised two chaplains, coordinated services for the two campuses, created a care team to supplement visitation, and created a Spiritual Life Committee to help negotiate the transition from the current on-sight chaplain’s model to First United Methodist Church’s, Grand Rapids off-sight model. In Jackson, I led Jackson Calvary to recognize their present reality and advised, supported, and encouraged them as they pursue a partnership with Jackson Habitat for Humanity. In my position as associate at Jackson First United Methodist, I initiated a spiritual growth plan and had growth in the area of small groups. In both positions, I worked tirelessly to reach out to other United Methodist Churches and other non-profit organizations creating a combined VBS, combined small groups, and combined base camp classes and housing the Student Advocacy Center within the Jackson Calvary building. In my current position at AnnArbor Calvary, I have walked alongside a congregation making the tough decision to close so that new life could arise. The church is currently in the investigation process of
adoption and we are ending well with joyous celebrations worshiping God through laughter and tears.
I am a deeply devoted and passionate follower of Christ and understand my mission is to help others to deepen their own faith and to become leaders for Christ in the transformation of the world. I look forward to listening to Belleville First United Methodist’s heart and seeing where God will take us. This truly is the Great Adventure!