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Sandpoint United Methodist Church Welcomes new pastor

| July 1, 2022 1:00 AM

The Rev. Catherine Lyle will be welcomed to the Sandpoint United Methodist Church commencing Sunday, July 3, at the corner of Cedar and Boyer. Worship service begins at 9 a.m. but the community may meet and greet the pastor any time after 8 a.m.

The congregation and new pastor welcome all who seek a loving, accepting home for their spiritual growth and wellbeing.

Born in Forks, Washington, on Halloween with a head full of red hair, Lyle says from thereon life only got stranger. She found herself being raised in a plethora of foster care homes and eventually running away from home in her late teens. Although life was hard, Lyle says she was blessed to see many different churches through the eyes of a child seeking refuge and comfort.

Baptized Catholic, she rebelled greatly from her Irish/Scottish roots and became a Methodist in her middle school years joining Cheney UMC where she served as the EWU campus minister while also sitting on the EWU Catholic Newman Center as their ecumenical chair. At 19 she graduated with her BA from Eastern Washington University followed by a fun summer studying Irish history and Literature at NUI in Galway, Ireland.  

As a young adult she says she had a million questions and didn't want rehearsed dogmatic answers from biased religious leaders. Subsequently, she earned an MA in philosophy from WSU. It was there her roommate (an Episcopal priest) set her up on a blind date with Kevin James, a network engineer. Now married, they have two sons.

When not studying and being a mom, she worked in many nonprofits including the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Shalom Ministries, and Manito UMC. It was at Manito that she found herself seeking creative ways for children to worship and share their relationship with Jesus.

Lyle says that over time with years of prayer and a powerful experience at Methodist Twinlow Camp, located on Twin Lakes near Rathdrum, she accepted in her heart her call to ministry. She graduated this spring from Claremont School of Theology. After spending the last year serving Elmore UMC in Potlatch, and growing their regular worshipping community, Lyle says, “I now find God plopping me down in Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry,” where she will serve each church half time.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people and hearing their stories, preaching on Sundays, and teaching new ways to minister to underpaid, tired out parents and kids surrounded by unhealthy food and divisive politics to love their God, love themselves, and love their neighbors. I want everyone to live with hope again, the same kind of hope that our Methodist silver haired elders chose to live out following the depression and WW II. We need to be honest about our past and work together for a better future. Resetting the table together is just as important as tossing that first unjust table. Oh, and to learn to have fun again. We need fun in our lives as Jesus did too from telling jokes, fishing trips, and that wedding in Canaan. Life is complex but I pray we all can enjoy a wholistic spiritual journey because we are worthy, we matter and our humanity matters.” 

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