Pastor Missy Rekitzke Leaves Legacy at St. Mark’s by Amy Blades Steward

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Pastor Missy Rekitzke of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church has left a legacy at every church she has served since joining the ministry 10 years ago. She was the first female lead pastor at each of the five churches for which she has served. Prior to serving as pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Easton for the past five years, she served at Hope United Methodist Church in Dover, DE, and then for the Three Point Sudlersville Charge in Queen Anne’s County, MD, which included Calvary-Asbury United Methodist Church, Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. In July, Pastor Rekitzke will carry on this legacy as she joins her new appointment at Salem United Methodist Church in Selbyville, DE, as its first female lead pastor.

Pastor Missy Rekitzke

“I have learned so much with this range of churches – from their styles of leadership to the different ways churches do ministry,” Pastor Rekitzke comments. She adds, “As a pastor, you need to adapt your gifts to those needs.”

When she talks about her time at St. Mark’s, she points to several things which have stood out to her. She states, “There is strong leadership in the church with people who take ministry and the roles they serve seriously. It has also been a very welcoming congregation.”

Pastor Rekitzke, who originally was born in Chicago, relocated to Delaware when her husband Phil got a promotion with Preston Trucking Company. She got interested in ministry by serving in youth ministry and worship at Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Seaford, DE where they lived. She then completed her Master’s in Divinity degree at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC in 2010.

She credits Pastor Gary Moore, who was District Superintendent at the time, with her decision to take the position at St. Mark’s. She comments, “He knew me well enough to know I would be a good fit. The church has loved our whole family, including our daughter Claire who moved to Easton with us.”

The Rekitzkes have two children, daughter Claire, and son Philip and his wife Erin, and two grandchildren who will be moving to Idaho in the next month. Pastor Rekitzke’s daughter Claire went on The World Race, an 11-country, 11-month mission trip to share the love of Jesus and serve others around the world. Members of St. Mark’s took an interest in her trip, supporting her and praying for her safety and return.

She credits St. Mark’s strategic planning commitment for creating a clear vision for the church and developing its pillars of ministry which have helped guide the church’s actions during her tenure. She states, “It gave us good direction, including our slogan, ‘Big Steeple, Friendly People.’ As a big church, it can look intimidating, but we are anything but that. We are continuing to be a beacon in this community.”

She points to St. Mark’s active Missions Committee, which connects with so many nonprofit agencies in the community, as working to help its mission partners meet the community’s needs. She adds, “A church can’t be everything to everyone. St. Mark’s has come to be a place of knowing its identity but wanting to grow its ministries. People need to be clothed, fed, and comforted. We work together to bring healing and wholeness to people. The church as always opened its doors to such groups as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, alongside groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4H.”

Another active committee during her time at St. Mark’s has been the Outreach and Connection Committee, which recently purchased a bus for the church to transport shut in members and expand its ministries. Her husband, Phil, was instrumental in this effort. She adds, “I could never do as much as I do without his support. He finds his niche in a church where we won’t overlap and then he works really hard. He gets to know people in the church and connects people to various ministries– that is his gift.”

Pastor Rekitzke reflects on her time at St. Mark’s, pointing to the church’s support of the Department of Social Services “Open Table” program; growing its Confirmation classes and Vacation Bible Camp; expanding the congregation’s involvement in the Emmaus Community; creating new community outreach events around the holidays; and hiring new Christian Education and Worship and Music Directors. She states, “We have a good team which is ready for the church’s next steps.”

On July 1, Reverend Ed Kuhling from Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro, DE will replace Pastor Rekitzke at St. Mark’s.

She concludes, “St. Mark’s will hold a very special place in my heart for the rest of my life. I want to thank the community for loving me for who I am and for allowing me to love them.”

 

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