Hello, my name is Barb Julian and I am the chairperson of the staff parish relations committee. I come before you because the staff parish relations committee is responsible for personnel matters within the congregation, and we have news. 

It is my joy to share with you today that Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has appointed Rev. Erik Alsgaard as the new pastor of our congregation. Pastor Alsgaard will begin his new responsibilities on July 1 of this year. As a United Methodist Church, we are a part of an appointment system. Our congregation’s staff parish relations committee has met with the district superintendent to identify our congregation’s needs and the needed skills in a pastor. We have also met with Pastor Alsgaard to get to know him and to ask questions. 

A little about him, then. In our conversation, he insisted we call him Erik. So, Erik was born and raised in Midland, Michigan, and felt the call into ordained ministry in 1983. He attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and received his Master of Divinity degree from there in 1986. He was ordained an Elder in 1988. He has served churches in Michigan and served in communications ministry in Michigan, Washington, D.C., Florida, and Maryland.

He is married to Sheila George, who serves as the director of Marketing and Communication at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. They have two children: Zach, and his wife, Jun; and Sarah, and her husband, Hiroki, who live in Japan. Erik and Sheila are the proud grandparents of 5 grandsons, between the ages of 4 and 10. Erik and Sheila are also the happy Puppy Parents of Gi (pronounced “ghee”), their Welsh Corgi, who is one year old. Both enjoy cooking and have been enjoying doing more of it during pandemic conditions.

Erik comes to Community after serving as Managing Editor for the Baltimore-Washington Conference for the past eight years. In that ministry, he served as editor of the conference newspaper, e-newsletter, and website, and managed the BWC’s social media. His most recent pastoral appointment was from 2010 to 2013, at St. Ignace UMC in Michigan.

“I am excited to come to Community UMC and serve with you to bring God’s kingdom closer here on earth,” Erik said. “I look forward to bringing my communication, pastoral, and broadcasting experience to bring more people into relationship with Christ.” Guided by the Holy Spirit, he will work with us and the conference so that, together, we continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.