The Rev. Evelyn Fisher, conference director of congregational excellence, announced Jan. 24 that she intends to retire at the end of the appointive year, June 30.
Fisher became a provisional member of the former Kansas East Conference in 1978 and a full member in 1981. Prior to being named director of congregational excellence for the new Great Plains Conference in 2013, she served churches in Bucyrus, Pomona-Richter, Burlington, Manhattan and Lenexa in Kansas, and she served six years as the Topeka District superintendent. She also served as consultant for pastoral and congregational concerns in the former Kansas East Conference and as director of clergy and congregational excellence in the Kansas Episcopal Area, which included both former Kansas conferences.
In her current role with the Great Plains Conference, Fisher oversees much of the congregational programming resources, with supervisory duties over such areas as new church development, small-membership church ministry, young-adult ministry, youth ministry, mercy and justice advocacy and disaster response.
“It’s been a real privilege to participate in the formation of the Great Plains Conference and to lead a team of talented, dedicated people in the Congregational Excellence department,” Fisher said. “I’m looking forward to discovering what God has in store for the next phase of life.”
Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. said Fisher will leave a legacy of helping congregations improve their fruitfulness across the Great Plains Conference.
“Evelyn has proven herself to be a loyal, confident, effective and results-oriented church leader,” Bishop Saenz said. “Her ministry skills have helped churches discover and follow fruitful directions for ministry. Over the years, she has successfully assisted numerous parties in conflict to reach healing and agreement. I am personally grateful to Evelyn for assisting me with my transition into the Great Plains. Evelyn has laid a strong foundation for congregational excellence to build upon in the years to come.”
Fisher is the second longtime conference director-level employee to announce a retirement effective this summer. The Rev. Gary Beach, conference treasurer and director of administrative services, announced his plans to retire June 30 prior to the 2016 annual conference session.
Todd Seifert is communications director for the Great Plains Conference. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @ToddSeifert.