Pastor’s Corner


Pastor’s Corner
March 2017

From the Pastor

A Word from Our New Pastor Hello! My name is Karen Ottjes. Although I’ve been preaching at Calvary since January 15th, as of March 16th I am officially your interim half-time pastor until June 30, 2017. I will be available by phone or email at any time, and will be at the church for worship, meetings and activities at least 2 days a week. If you want to talk to me face-to-face, I can make an appointment that will fit both our schedules.

Let me tell you a little about myself to help you get to know me. My father, an engineering student from the east, met my mother, a farm girl from New Haven, Indiana, at Purdue through the Wesley Foundation. My father changed jobs quite a bit so I grew up moving around. Oldest of 3, I was born in New Jersey and lived in Kokomo, Indiana; Adrian, Michigan; and graduated from high school and college in Minnesota. I married and moved to Anderson, Indiana, graduated from Ball State University with a Masters degree in Elementary Education, taught 4th and 5th grades in Minnesota, moved to North Dakota, and back to Minnesota. I was divorced and later married to Jim, a Minnesota native, in 1981.We moved to Goshen, Indiana, in 1983 to be closer to my parents, who are now deceased.

My parents (and grandparents) were Methodists, so I’m a born and bred Methodist. I sang in the children’s, youth and adult choirs. I was a leader in the MYF. As an adult I taught Sunday School, directed VBS, continued singing in the choir, became a worship song leader, a Certified Lay Speaker and did some pulpit supply. In mid-life I was searching for that something more to feel like I was really doing something to make a difference. It was at that time (on a Walk to Emmaus weekend) that I sensed a call to ministry as a pastor and entered Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart. Since graduating in 1991, I have pastored the Uniondale and Prospect, Arcola and Lake Chapel, Daleville, Akron and Thorntown UMCs. I retired from pastoring as of June 30, 2016, and moved to an independent living villa at Heritage Pointe in Warren.

You people of Calvary UMC have made Jim and me feel like we fit in to your activities. You have been very responsive to my preaching and that blesses me. I pray that our time together will be fruitful.

Blessings, Pastor Karen