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From San Antonio and Spain to La Vernia, Michael and Betsy Mumme join the community June 27
MICHAEL MUMMENew La Vernia United Methodist Church pastor, Michael Mumme, made the world-renowned pilgrimage walk along the Camino de Santiago through Spain in 2017 with Betsy Richards; the two were united in marriage in November 2018.
The congregation of the La Vernia United Methodist church will welcome a new pastor this month. Rev. Wesley Craig and his family are leaving, as he begins a new ministry as a chaplain.
Coming to shepherd the flock will be Michael Mumme — pronounced “mummy” — an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church; he is a San Antonio native.
Pastor Michael has served for 15 years in pastoral ministry with the United Methodist Church, 11 in the position of pastor in charge and four as an executive, or associate, pastor. Before coming to La Vernia, he served churches in Canyon Lake, Cuero, Colonial Hills (San Antonio), Floresville, and Woodsboro, and the First United Methodist Church of Austin. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Philosophy from Trinity University in San Antonio and a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.
Originally planning to study medicine, Pastor Michael discerned a call to ordained ministry in the summer before his senior year of college, while participating in a United Methodist campus ministry at Texas A&M University during summer school. Taking part in worship and Bible study, he heard again the voice of a loving God of grace, the one he had known as a youth from his home church.
God’s grace continues to guide Pastor Michael in ministry. The power of God’s unconditional love and the healing of God’s making all things new through the risen Christ are regular themes in his preaching. Just as God’s grace seeks us out before we are aware to respond, so, in gratitude, we the church should go out into our communities and serve, embodying God’s love for all people. During his pastoral ministry, Pastor Michael has discovered a love of creative worship, an appreciation for ecumenical ministries, and a heart for service.
His service to the church includes his election as a Reserve Lay Delegate to the 2004 General Conference and a Reserve Jurisdictional Clergy Delegate to the 2012 South Central Jurisdictional Conference. He has served on several conference and district committees during his ministry and has attended many church leadership trainings. He is currently part of a five-year cohort of Advancing Pastoral Leadership, a program designed to develop the capacity for strategic congregational leadership by United Methodist pastors. He also serves on the board of directors of the Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors, a United Methodist ministry providing free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.
Companions on the journey
In 2017, Pastor Michael walked the Camino de Santiago, a historic Christian pilgrimage across Spain, from the border of France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a distance of 500 miles. In addition to the spiritual purpose for the pilgrimage, the journey also served as an important bonding experience for Pastor Michael and his journey companion, Betsy Richards. On Nov. 3, 2018, Michael and Betsy united in marriage and continue their journey together, which now, by the Spirit, leads them to La Vernia UMC.
Betsy Mumme is also a native of San Antonio. She received a bachelor’s degree from Rice University and a master’s degree from Texas State University-San Marcos, both in anthropology. Betsy works remotely in the areas of regulatory compliance and administration for Fusion Advisors, a San Antonio financial services company founded by her parents. Betsy is a member of the Bahá’í faith, which believes in the unity of humanity and the continuous revelation of God through time, including the life of Jesus Christ as God made manifest.
You can expect to see Betsy regularly in worship and joining in ministries of fellowship and service to our community.
When the Mummes aren’t working, you can find Michael and Betsy in the process of making a home for themselves. Pre-pandemic, you could find Pastor Michael and Betsy cutting a rug two-stepping and swing dancing at Gruene Hall, “toobing” or kayaking in the Guadalupe River, or exploring the wonders of San Antonio, Austin, the Hill Country, and beyond.
“We are thrilled to be joining La Vernia UMC in mission and ministry,” said Pastor Michael. “We give thanks for Pastor Wes’ leadership and for the lay leadership at La Vernia. We look forward to seeing the relaunch of mission-minded ministries in this post-COVID world where people can thrive in the richness of a loving, Christian community.
“Betsy and I ask for your prayers, and please know that you are in our prayers during this transitional time. We long to get to know you, to grow with you as disciples of Jesus Christ, and to serve with you in strengthening the fabric of our community that longs for connection.”
Article and photos contributed by Michael Mumme.
La Vernia United Methodist Church (UMC) pastor Wesley Craig ends his role in La Vernia Sunday, June 20, to begin a new ministry as a chaplain.
The new pastor, Michael Mumme, will take the leadership mantle Sunday, June 27.
Sunday services are at 8: 30 a.m., traditional; 9: 45 a.m., Sunday School; and 11 a.m., contemporary service.
La Vernia UMC is located at 210 Bluebonnet Road (F.M. 775). For more information, visit www.laverniaumc.org.
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