A letter from Pastor Karl...

May 10, 2016

Dear Church Family,

watersonfamilyportrait1Last Sunday a letter was read during worship announcing that it is Bishop Minerva Carcano's intent to appoint Rev. Jon Waterson as the new Site Pastor of our Rancho Santa Margarita Campus. Pastor Jon has served churches in Huntington Beach, Anaheim Hills, and most recently has been the Lead Pastor of Downey United Methodist church. He is married to Cindy and they have a thirteen year old son named Corran. Jon is a gifted preacher and pastor. He brings many years of experience with youth, family, and camping ministries to our church, and he is thrilled to be appointed to the Shepherd of the Hills church family.

We are excited to welcome Pastor Jon and his family to Shepherd of the Hills. His appointment will begin on July 1, 2016. You can read the letter from our Superintendent announcing this appointment below.


A letter from District Superintendent Rev. John Farley...

Dear Karl and Members of the Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo Ministries,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My thoughts and prayers are with you. It is with great joy that I inform you that after much prayer and consultation, it is Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño’s intent to appoint the Rev. Jon Waterson to serve as your site pastor effective July 1, 2016. Pastor Jon is a gifted and experienced pastor who has served for a number of years on the East District and now joins us here in the South. Pastor Jon is a gifted leader and preacher with a rich experience in youth and family ministries. As a church leader and developer, he is uniquely gifted to lead the Rancho Santa Margarita ministry site into an era of vibrant growth. Pastor Karl and Pastor Jon will work together with your lay leadership for a smooth and effective leadership transition.

On behalf of our Bishop, I thank you for the great insights and prayers your SPRC has offered throughout this process and I anticipate even greater things from your congregation as we journey onward.

In ministry together,

Rev. John Farley

District Superintendent

South District


A letter from Pastor Karl...

April 18, 2016

Dear Church Family,

We serve a God who loves us. And we serve a God who challenges us to become more than we can imagine. I am writing to let you know that Rev. Sarah Heath has been appointed by our Bishop to serve as the pastor of a new ministry beginning at the First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa on July 1, 2016. This is not just any appointment, but one that truly points to Sarah's unique gifts in ministry to build new communities for Christ. She will not only be the pastor for the legacy congregation at this 100-year-old church, but she has also been appointed to create a new United Methodist faith community for the people of Costa Mesa. It was Sarah's unique ministry ideas for this new church community that were affirmed by the Bishop and the Cabinet; and it is truly a recognition of God's gifts at work within her that she has been asked to take on this appointment. An official letter from our Superintendent is included with this e-mail.

In the mean time, Pastor Sarah is still appointed to serve and love this congregation. Over the next few months we will be planning a celebration of Sarah's ministry with us at Shepherd of the Hills. Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for this new appointment.

In addition, we will be working with the cabinet as they discern who will be appointed to serve as the next Site Pastor for our Rancho Santa Margarita campus. Please be in prayer for that process as well, and know that God is at work in the midst of all that happens in the life of his church.

With God' s Peace,
Pastor Karl
Lead Pastor

A letter from Pastor Sarah...

Dear Church family,

I am more than in awe of the last five years we have spent together. We have been able to do so much in partnership with God and I have seen the Spirit move in huge ways! It has been an honor to serve such a kind, dynamic, spirit led and diverse community. Thank you for letting me be your Pastor. I am proud of this community and all that it does to connect with each other and connect with Christ . It is truly a unique community.

Yesterday in worship it was shared that after a great amount of prayer, planning and conversation the Bishop and her cabinet have decided to appoint me to an exciting position as the Lead pastor of a church re-start at Costa Mesa First, UMC beginning July 1, 2016. As you can imagine this is going to be a lot of hard work, lots of learning and lots of leaning on God. I am excited, and at the same time my heart is deeply grieved to be leaving the church that I love so much! I want to thank you all for your support, kindness, and prayers over the last 5 years. I truly believe I would not be who I am as a Pastor or as a person without the community that you provided for me. I ask that you pray for me during the transition and as I launch into this new thing. I will never be able to express how much all of you have meant to me. From the bottom of my heart thank you. We still have several months together and I can t wait to see what we will do with that time as we prepare for what God has next!

Pastor Sarah

A letter from the District Superintendent...

April 17, 2016

Karl Lindegren,
SPRC Chair, Shepherd of the Hills UMC

Dear Karl and the Congregation of Shepherd of the Hills UMC,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am writing to let you know that after consultation with your pastor and the Appointive Cabinet, it is Bishop Minerva G. Carca–o's intent to appoint your pastor, the Reverend Sarah Heath, to serve as pastor of another California-Pacific Annual Conference United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2016. This decision came after prayerful consideration of the needs of the connectional church and the pastor. It can be a difficult time for a local church and for a pastor when there is a change of appointments. This is especially true when it comes sooner than anyone hoped or expected. St. Paul offered a final message to the church in Corinth when it was in a similar heart-rending transition. He said this to the grieving members, "Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." Every parting minister wishes their congregations to be so bold and compassionate. Pastor Sarah has served your congregation well. Over her years of service she has cared deeply for the members through her pastoral responsibilities and preaching. Pastor Sarah will be sorely missed. She has been spiritually impacted by your faith and love and she will strive to bestow that compassion upon the members of her new congregation. In the coming weeks, you will want to keep Pastor Sarah in your prayers during this time of transition. You are encouraged to celebrate the ministry you have shared together and look forward with great expectation of what God will do in the next season through our collaborative and prayerful efforts. The Spirit of God shall guide us along the way. As your District Superintendent, I will be in consultation with your Pastor Parish Committee and the cabinet in order to share in what is best for this ministry and community. Such consultation and prayerful discernment will be essential as the Bishop determines who she will appoint as your next pastor.

In ministry together,
Rev. John Farley

Pastoral Change Coming to Shepherd

Rev. Jon Waterson appointed to RSM Site Pastor

Rev. Sarah Heath appointed to Costa Mesa UMC


of the Hills
United Methodist Church

26001 Muirlands Blvd.
Mission Viejo, CA 92691


30605 Avenida de Las Flores
Rancho Santa Margarita,
CA 92688


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