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Loyal/York United Methodist pastor saying farewell to community

Loyal/York United Methodist pastor saying farewell to community Loyal/York United Methodist pastor saying farewell to community

The path of life can often take a person to unforeseen places, leading them on to impact the lives of others they would not have otherwise met. Such was the case in the life of Rev. Patsy Roe, who has served the Loyal United Methodist and York United Methodist Churches for almost nine years. Originally from Ohio, Rev. Roe will now be retiring from pastoral work and returning home to be with her remaining family.

Rev. Roe will be leaving the Loyal area on Dec. 14. As a licensed local pastor, Rev. Roe said she has reached the mandatory retirement age of 72 years and will not be allowed to continue to serve the two churches she has come to know and love in the years she has been in the area. In her retirement, she will be resettling in Weston, Ohio, where she will be returning to her family just in time for the Christmas holiday.

“I will be going to Weston, Ohio, it is smaller than Loyal. The biggest difference is that there they will have five churches and only one bar,” she said with a laugh. “I reached the mandatory retirement age. They gave me another year, but I was visiting my family in September and there was a house for sale that I couldn’t pass up. The main reason I want to leave now is that I don’t want to spend another Christmas without my husband. I will be able to spend Christmas with my family.”

The decision to retire comes as a bittersweet moment for Rev. Roe. The churches of Loyal and York hold a very special place in her heart, as they were the first and only churches she has served during her time as a pastor.

“My path was a very long path,” she said. “I didn’t become a pastor until I was 60 years old. For the past eight and a half years I have been a pastor here. I am blessed to have served all in one place, I loved living in this community.”

Looking back, Rev. Roe said she never would have thought the life of a pastor was in store for her, but God has a way of directing his servants when and where they are needed the most. For her, she just happened to be called when she was older.

“There is an event called the Walk to Emmaus,” she said. “It is held one or two times a year, for about four days. I go to the camp, and its all about leadership and Jesus. I participated one year and thought it was good; and I thought the next time I would go that I would be chosen to be a leader, and I was. When I was a leader I gave talks and a woman came up to me and told me that I should be a licensed local pastor. I had no idea what that was, I had never heard about it. So I talked to my pastor and he gave me this book and I began the process for candidacy as a pastor.”

Once she was on the path to becoming a pastor, Rev. Roe said she felt certain about her mission, but God really tested her patience and determination. After being ordained, she waited three years before she was given an assignment to the Loyal and York churches.

“It took about three years before I was given an assignment,” she said. “I had been starting to think, maybe I had heard wrong. I was actually just going to call and tell them to take my name off the list when I received the call telling me I was going to Loyal … When I heard about it, I thought, ‘It sounds like it’s up by Timbuktu.’” Despite her unfamiliarity with the area and being on her first assignment, Rev. Roe was happy with the place she had ended up and quickly grew a special relationship with the members of her congregation. That personal connection that she developed with each and every one of her parishioners was one of the best parts of being a pastor and one of the things she will miss the most.

“(I will miss) getting to know the people and getting to share Jesus with them every week,” she said. “Vacation Bible School, getting to be a part of that. Growing with the people. I will miss their friendship, miss the baptisms and confirmations and miss the children, watching them grow up and get married. This chapter in my life will be treasured and cherished in my memories.”

In usual circumstances, Rev. Roe said there would be a farewell service held before she would leave the area, but due to COVID-19, she will not be able to give the parish community the goodbye she would like. While she may not be able to say a proper goodbye, she said she is extremely grateful to the community for letting her be a part of their lives for so many years, and will continue to think about and pray for them after she returns home.

“The worst part about COVID is not having everyone here and you can’t say, ‘Goodbye, love you,’ and give hugs,” she said. “I think that Loyal is a wonderful community. I am so blessed to have been a part of it.”

After she returns to Ohio, Rev. Roe said she will be spending more time with her family and expects to have a quiet retirement as long as that is what God wants from her.

“I will be 25 minutes away from my sister and 30 minutes away from my grandson,” she said. “It will be nice having family so close by. It is always possible when someone finds out you are a retired pastor (to come back and serve), so I think I may fill in once in a blue moon, but I’m thinking I will be pretty much retired. I will do what the Lord wants me to do.”

Loyal and York United Methodist Church’s Rev. Patsy Roe will be returning to her family in Ohio now that she has reached retirement age. The Loyal churches were her first and only call, and she was here for nine years.