Bishop David Bard has appointed Reverend Christina (Stina) Koppes as pastor of Cross Winds United Methodist Church, and the Personnel Team has affirmed the appointment.
Pastor Stina’s appointment with Cross Winds officially begins Sunday, June 27th. More introductory information will be available and coming to you over the next few months. As a reminder, if there are ever any questions about the new pastor transition process please email your questions.
For now, we ask you to be in prayer for several things. For the transition of Pastor Stina and her husband Chad who shared in the ministry of Delano UMC to leading full time in their respective churches. For Pastor Stina leaving a church she loves and one where she leaves a congregation of people who clearly love her too. For Pastor Mike and his continued “good works” to serve us these next weeks up to his retirement. For our church staff, as they embrace Pastor Stina and grow in their initial and foundational relationships with her. And, for our entire Cross Winds family for this is an exciting moment, and promise of a great future with and through Pastor Stina’s leadership.
Sincerely, Tiffany Brezina and Bill Lewis (Personnel co-chairs)
Gifts for the Ministry
I enjoy getting to know a community and finding ways to develop their strengths for ministry. I believe in taking time to build trust, show compassion, provide stability, and operate with hope. For those familiar with StrengthsFinder, my style reflects my top themes which are learner, relator, responsibility, and individualization.
Spiritual Disciplines and Study
My personal spiritual disciplines have been influenced both by my experience with Wesleyan Covenant Discipleship groups as well as my years spent as a Benedictine oblate with St. Paul’s Monastery. Both acts of piety and acts of mercy are important to my life. My public acts of mercy include my volunteer work with Love INC Heartland as well as various local church opportunities. I take a significant amount of time each day for my personal acts of piety. I practice a modified liturgy of the hours by observing morning and evening prayer. In the morning, time is also spent in daily scripture reading, study, centering prayer, and other contemplative prayer practices including sustained lectio, journaling, creating mandalas, and other prayer forms. I often read/listen to contemplative Benedictine teachers such as Thomas Keating, James Findley, or Joan Chittister and study the works of contemporary preachers such as Adam Hamilton. Since I am married to a pastor who loves engaging in philosophical discussion, I find a vast amount of study materials from my spouse, Chad. We both love to learn, so our courses of study often extend beyond the theological into science, art, literature, and history.
My husband Chad and I met in our seminary days and have enjoyed being in ministry together over the years. We have a son, James (age 11), who enjoys playing with his friends, scouting, church youth group, and piano. As a family, we enjoy playing board games, birdwatching, biking, and playing with our dog, Rex.
Additional Ministry Experience
Continuing Education and Training
Service and Community Involvement
Call to Ministry
I spent my college summers working in an ELCA church camp in Michigan which sparked my eventual call to ministry. Working on the camp staff helped me claim my own faith in Jesus and nurtured a desire to stay connected to a local church. After college I headed to grad school and found a local church, which happened to be a United Methodist congregation. Although I had grown up in both UCC & ELCA congregations, participating in a United Methodist church felt like a natural fit. After my first year of grad school, I went to volunteer at that same ELCA church camp and was offered a youth pastor job. I was shocked by the offer and had never considered working in a church before. Although I did not accept the job, I began to realize that my real passion was ministry, which was then nurtured, shaped, and affirmed by Christ UMC in Piscataway, NJ. Making the switch from laboratory toxicologist to pastoral ministry was a leap of faith, but after a few years of guided discernment, the love I had for ministry grew to be so consuming that it overcame my initial fears until only love remained. I give thanks for the patient, persistent, gracious love of God that has worked through so many people to nurture my call to ministry.
Vision of the Church and Passion for Ministry
The Church is the visible body of Christ here on earth, joined together by God as family, led by Christ to love the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe each local congregation, as part of that body, is given special gifts and graces for the world as well. As pastor, I enjoy helping a local church discover, refine, and deepen their gifts as a church body to bless the world. When I help encourage local churches to become more fully who they truly are, I find that God provides the energy to reach new people and heal a broken world.
Links to video to help you "meet" Pastor Kristina Koppes by seeing her in action in her current church – Delano United Methodist Church.