New leadership appointments, collaborative model, announced for Inland and Seven Rivers Missional Districts

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With openings in the superintendency of the two districts overseeing churches and ministries in northern Idaho and eastern Washington, the Pacific Northwest Conference will experience a new leadership model building upon emerging collaboration in the region.

Rev. Daniel Miranda

On Sunday, Bishop Stanovsky announced her intention to appoint the Rev. Daniel Miranda to serve on the Pacific Northwest and Greater Northwest Area cabinets as District Superintendent for the Inland and Seven Rivers Missional Districts, beginning July 1, 2021. Daniel currently serves as pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Auburn, Washington.

Simultaneously, she announced her intention to appoint Rev. Sheila Miranda into a new appointment as Assistant for Connectional Ministries in the Inland and Seven Rivers Missional Districts. This new position will “work with pastoral leaders across the two districts to form regional ministry “circuits” for mutual support, oversight, professional development and community service.” Sheila is currently pastor at Colby UMC on the Kitsap Peninsula.

In sharing her hope for this new model, Bishop Stanovsky wrote, “Working together in these two vast districts, I pray that ministry will grow and become stronger in each place, as pastors and local churches work together to support one another in service to God and all God’s children.”

Rev. Sheila Miranda

Rev. Gregg Sealey, current Inland Missional District Superintendent and PNW Cabinet dean, shared his request for an appointment to extension ministry as a professional coach and leadership consultant in January. Earlier this month, current Seven Rivers Missional District Superintendent Joanne Coleman Campbell shared that she was seeking to retire alongside her husband, John.

Over the past year, the Inland and Seven Rivers Missional Districts have been increasingly collaborative. The challenges posed by the pandemic have surfaced opportunities to share in resourcing of both districts with a joint zoom gathering every week, alternating between clergy and laity. Rev. Sealey and Rev. Coleman Campbell have taken turns writing for each district’s newsletter, and, most recently, the leaders in the district collaborated to create an online Ash Wednesday Service.

Rev. Alissa Bertsch, pastor of Cheney UMC, has a unique perspective as a leader supporting Inland and Seven River’s collaboration and as someone who has grown to know the Mirandas through the Board of Ordained Ministry’s full membership process over the past several years.

“What a joy it is to welcome Revs. Daniel and Sheila Miranda to the Inland and Seven Rivers Missional Districts as we collectively embark on a new adventure of ministry partnerships,” writes Rev. Bertsch. “I am confident our churches and pastors will be well served by this experienced pastoral team who bring gifts of courageous leadership, commitment to building collegial relationships of trust and collaboration, and who possess a deep, enthusiastic passion for serving God and the church.”

The Mirandas have long been partners in both marriage and ministry over the past 30 plus years.

Daniel and Sheila met and married while attending Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas, each graduating with an M.Div. in 1989. After serving as volunteer missionaries in Himeji, Japan for a year, they returned to the US and co-pastored Judson Baptist Church in Beloit, Wisconsin. During that time, they were ordained by the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin. Later, working as missionaries with American Baptist International Ministries, they served in the Philippines as theological educators at the Convention Baptist Bible College in Bacolod City. Their work focused on training new pastors and relating to the churches of the western Visayas.

The Mirandas came into connection with the Seven Rivers District nearly 20 years ago when they began serving the Federated Church of Waterville, Washington, in 2003. Daniel was later appointed as interim pastor at Pateros UMC following a devastating fire in that area.

Daniel transferred his ordination to The United Methodist Church in 2020, and Sheila is currently a provisional elder. They also bring other skills well suited for ministry. Sheila is a music educator (BM, University of Iowa) and ethnomusicologist (MA, Bethel University). Daniel has worked in clinical settings as a drug and alcohol counselor (EWU) and has training as a police and fire chaplain. He also speaks Spanish. Daniel currently serves on PNW Conference Committee on Finance and Administration.

“We look forward to serving the churches of the Inland and Seven Rivers Districts,” wrote Daniel and Sheila about this new opportunity to serve. “Our dozen years of work in the Seven Rivers District brought us into the PNW, and we look forward to returning to that area to renew acquaintances and make new ones as we serve the churches and explore new models of ministry.”

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