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Rev. Kathy Dwyer

Senior Pastor


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It has been my privilege and joy to serve this vibrant, progressive congregation since 2010. In many ways, coming to serve Rock Spring felt like coming home. Rock Spring’s long-held values of inclusion, seeking-justice, and holding a deep respect for many expressions of faith resonate with my own. Through the years, my appreciation and love for this congregation has only grown.

I have always loved the church. My grandfather was a Methodist minister and my earliest memories are of joining him as he greeted parishioners on Sunday morning. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio where I attended First Community Church which had ministers from five different denominations. Being a part of that community, which celebrated differences and encouraged people to question, had a big impact on me. I knew by the age of twelve that I wanted to be a minister.

I graduated from Miami University (Ohio) and began working in the church before going to seminary by serving as Director of Children’s Ministries for children grades kindergarten through fifth grade. After graduating from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, I served rural, urban, and suburban churches before coming to Rock Spring.

Serving an urban congregation introduced me to living with and celebrating a new set of differences than I had previously experienced. I gained a whole new perspective on what it meant to be in communion with others, which has profoundly shaped my ministry and my understanding of the sacrament of communion. This led me to the Chicago Theological Seminary for my doctoral work. The title of my thesis was The Largest Table Effect: Preaching to Cultivate Compassion, Justice, and Inclusion in the Urban Church.

Externally, I have served on the boards of United Church Funds, O.A.R. (an organization devoted to helping those who have been incarcerated re-enter the community), and the Arlington Interfaith Network. I also mentor several pastors through the Chicago Theological Seminary Resilience in Leadership Initiative.

I have two adult children, Courtney and Drew. I am married to Dale Dwyer and we live together with our miniature Goldendoodle, Micah. We are happy to have both of our mothers living close by. For fun, I love to cook and entertain, explore farmers markets and arts festivals, exercise, garden, nap, and spend time at my favorite spot near Crystal Lake, Michigan.