undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Gettysburg College,
Rev. Lynda Bates-Stepe had no plans on going into ministry. But God
had other plans and in response to that call from God she received a
Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Yale Divinity School in 1987. She was
ordained a Deacon at the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist
Church in 1986 and an Elder in 1990. Lynda has served churches in Connecticut
and New York State. She also did a nine-month training program called
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn,
she moved to Long Island and has served at Setauket, East Meadow and
Commack UMCs. She also met her husband Atis Stepe who grew up on Long
Island; their stepdaughter Deanna is now a young adult. Lynda and Atis
enjoy sailing on the Great South Bay and hiking with their dogs. Along
with her work in the local congregation she is on the Board of Ordained
Ministry and finds it very inspiring to get to know her newest colleagues
in ministry. Their energy and joy are inspiring. Lynda is grateful to
God for the opportunity to serve with the people at Commack UMC where
together they share and understand the power of God's presence in their
lives. How amazing is that!
It is with
sadness that I announce that effective July 1, 2017 1 will be leaving
Commack UMC as your pastor. I have requested a Sabbatical Leave for
a year to focus on studies and enhancement of my skills for ministry
as well as to be more available for family obligations.
arrived nine years ago we were on the cusp of celebrating 225 years
of ministry in Commack. There was energy and excitement about what God
had done through our ancestors in faith and what the future held for
us as we moved forward. What a wonderful way to begin a ministry! Over
the years we have worshipped, studied and served together in so many
ways I can't even list them. For all the goodbyes and sad funerals we
have experienced we have also celebrated the arrival of new members
and beautiful baptisms. We are strong in faith and eager to love God
and serve Christ. I'm sorry I cannot continue the journey with you as
your pastor. I am excited about the future of Commack UMC and the work
of God happening here.
July seems a long way off and there is much to be done before then.
You might wonder what happens next and how a new pastor is appointed.
Our Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPR) will work closely with our
District Superintendent Rev. Julia Yeon-Hee Yim to identify the skills
and gifts needed for effective pastoral leadership. Rev. Yim and her
colleagues will share in prayerful consultation with Bishop Thomas J.
Bickerton to appoint a new pastor effective July 1st. The SPR Committee
will work with the Trustees to prepare the parsonage for the new pastoral
family and with the Worship Committee to plan special celebration for
his or her arrival. These committee members will need your help and
prayers as they fulfil their duties.
I am fully present as your pastor and will do all I can to make the
transitions as smooth as possible. And in the next five months there
is much ministry to be done. I'm grateful to be working with you, my
sisters and brothers in faith, to share and understand the power of
God's presence in our lives. May we rejoice in what God has done and
is doing among us!