We have a pastor!

On Friday July 28, the SPRC met with Rev. Dr. Calhoun and Pastor Rick Rabe to introduce Pastor Rabe as the new pastor at WSUMC. The SPRC had a wonderful meeting with Pastor Rick and we are thrilled by his

Pastor Rabe will begin leading Sunday worship with us on September 3. We hope to see everyone there to offer a warm welcome.

Below is a message from Pastor Rick:

Hello everyone at West Springfield UMC! I am so excited to begin serving as your Lay Supply Pastor! I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and sharing God’s grace and love together.

Before we meet in person, here’s a little bit about me.

My wife, Dr. Julie Jonassen and I live in Belchertown. We were married in 2001 and have three children, Alex, Sarah, and Rachel. We have been blessed this year with two upcoming weddings, Alex will be married in August in Denver and Sarah in September right here in Massachusetts. Our youngest, Rachel is studying for her Masters in Public Health at the University of Michigan (which happens to be Julie’s alma matter) and is currently doing an internship in Rwanda, Africa. We share our home with our wonderful cat, Mojo.

I have come to ministry through a rather convoluted path, funny how stubborn one can be in answering God’s call. I have been serving as Lay Leader at Hope UMC in Belchertown for a little over six years. Julie is the Director of Music at Hope. I am in the candidacy process for becoming a minister which I started last year. I’ve also been a superintendent of children’s education at a large non-denominational church in Michigan, years ago. Like I said, a convoluted path.

Most of my professional career has been in computers, Information Technology. My current work has been with UMass Medical School building a new healthcare system in Liberia, West Africa. This was in response to the Ebola outbreak. My work there provided a clear focus on what God’s love can do. Before that I have held various positions including Chief Information Officer and CEO. I had my own company for 18 years and helped restart three others. Some would say I am a bit of a computer geek. More on that later.

Julie and I love music. She is a professional organist. I tend to drive her nuts with my instrument, the Great Highland Bagpipe. I play with the Springfield Kiltie Band, you may have even seen me in one of the many parades we appear in. We both love to travel and have friends all over the world. Soon we will experience what it is like to be grandparents, Alex and his fiance’ are expecting in late September!

I am so excited to be starting this journey with you and I cannot wait to hear all about how you serve God in your community. See you soon!

Pastor Rick