Monroe United Methodist Church
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Shining the light on the hill by connecting with Jesus Christ, connecting with each other, and connecting with the world.

Staff

 REV. JOEL HARBARGER - PASTOR

 Joel was appointed to the Monroe UMC in 2014.  He was first  ordained in 1985 and is excited about doing ministry here and  now!  He loves to spend time with people, young, older and in the  middle!
 
 Joel hails from the small town of Jackson, Ohio.  He holds a BS in Social Work from Ohio University and a MDiv from Drew  University  Theological School in Madison, NJ.  He spent many years working  in Youth Ministry and Campus Ministry before he was called to be the Lead Pastor in some churches. 
 
He has been blessed to be happily married since 1979 and has two grown children living on the West Coast.  His other interests include camping, paddling, hiking, bicycling, cooking and eating great food, reading and watching movies.
 
Contact Pastor Joel at pastorjoel@swohio.twcbc.com 
 

REV. ANN COPELAND – PASTORAL CARE AND OUTREACH MINISTRIES

Ann is an ordained minister and has served as youth/children’s minister, pastor and pastoral counselor. She has spent 15 years as a mental health therapist and taught psychology at Campbellsville University. She received undergraduate degrees in nursing and educational psychology and a master’s degree in individual and family counseling/ pastoral care. She lives in Liberty Township with her husband, who is also an ordained minister and serves as Director of Spiritual Care and Ethics at Maple Knoll Communities. They have two children, Rebecca and Ryan. She enjoys reading, traveling and yard sales.
 
Contact Ann at monroeumc@cinci.rr.com


 BRITTANY GOULD - DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRIES

 Brittany received Christ as her personal savior & felt a calling to ministry at  a very young age. Despite becoming an accomplished  athlete, a decorated  musician, and Valedictorian of her high school  class, she prioritized  spiritual growth and urged others to grow in  their faith, even as a student.
 
After high school, Brittany attended Bluffton University in Bluffton, OH where she received a B.A. in Youth Ministry, graduating with honors. 
 
During and after college, Brittany served as a vocalist, dancer, & tour director with the music ministry of The Continental Singers International. With them, she toured the U.S. & Costa Rica, proclaiming the gospel through the performing arts, eventually working as Choreographer & Producer with this ministry for two years in Ventura, California.
 
To settle down from travel and return home to Ohio, Brittany served in part-time youth ministry and then part-time music ministry at two churches nearby in Hamilton and Fairfield, OH. Continuing to pursue her calling to full-time ministry, in November 2009 Brittany joined the MUMC Staff and birthed BLAZE Youth Ministries. Over 150 students have been a part of this program, and the impact in their lives and on this community is immeasurable, but deeply felt and meaningful to those who have participated the last 7 years nonetheless.

When she is not fully engrossed in this program and in the lives of her students, Brittany spends time with her son Brayden and loves being his mom. Brittany still sings praise music, and still teaches teens to worship God through dance and drama presentations as well. Aside from being a mom, Brittany is also a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend to many and tries to love on the people in her life as best she can. And if those things aren't taking up all 24hrs of the day, you might find her taking photos, teaching a piano or voice lesson, journaling, posting on facebook, taking a walk with her two dogs, or admiring the sunset sky.

“The journey of life isn’t easy, but I have learned first-hand to trust the depth of hope given to us by God. The storms of life toss us, but the anchor of our faith is so trust-worthy. And the support of good people is a must to keep going and growing. So many, including myself and my son, have found a wonderful church family and unconditional love here in BLAZE Youth at Monroe UMC. We know you will too.”
- Brittany

Contact Pastor Brittany at mumcyouthdirector@yahoo.com
 
Rachel Watkins - Director of Hornet haven
 Rachel Watkins and family joined Monroe United Methodist Church in the fall of 2005. Over the course of many years she has been a member on our Missions team, Finance Committee, Child Education Committee and held the title of Church Treasurer for 3 years. Her most rewarding service to the church was when she served as a Sunday school teacher for 2 years. 
  In 2010 she started at Hornet Haven as an assistant pre-school teacher. Within 2 years she was promoted to head Pre-K teacher. In August of 2015, she was named as Director of Hornet Haven. Being given the chance to work with the children of our community and help them with their educational and spiritual needs is a true blessing. 
  In her spare time some of her favorite things to do are camping, boating and playing soccer with her three sons, Jacob, 17, Alex, 14 and Thomas, 10. She have lived in Monroe for over 18 years and enjoys the small “home town” community. Throughout the past 10 years she has done some amazing things within this church and she is looking forward to the new adventures that God has planned for her.
 

 LARRY DANIEL - DIRECTOR CHOIR MINISTRIES

 Larry is married to Becky with 2 daughters, Meredith and  Cassandra. He has a double major with a Bachelor and Master’s  from University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.  
Larry is now in his 25th year at MUMC as Music Director. Frequent  trumpet performer with CSO, Pops, Blue Wisp Band, Tommy  Dorsey Band, Bob and Tom Show Band, very active studio musician for Bob and Tom Show, jingles, and over 1325 records to date. He has performed live with various artists including Maynard Ferguson, Mel Torme, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, as well as the shows that come to Cincinnati. During the day he is the General Manager at Metro Containers in Cincinnati. He has one hobby--golf.    
 
 

 LINDA LARKIN - NURSERY

 Linda oversees the nursery / preschool room during our Sunday  Mornings services. She also works in our Hornet Haven Latchkey  and Honeybee Haven Preschool programs and has done so for  more than eight years.  Well-trained and equipped in child development, Linda loves kids and helping the church fulfill its mission. Linda’s responsibilities include everything from wiping runny noses to giving much-needed hugs and everything in between, making the children feel safe and secure while being her care. You may Contact Linda at monroeumc@cinci.rr.com
 
In 2010 I started at Hornet Haven as an assistant pre-school teacher. Within 2 years I was promoted to head Pre-K teacher.  In August of 2015, I was named as Director of Hornet Haven.  Being given the chance to work with the children of our community and help them with their educational and spiritual needs is a true blessing. 
 
In my spare time some of my favorite things to do are camping, boating and playing soccer with my 3 sons, Jacob, 17, Alex, 14 and Thomas, 10. I have lived in Monroe for over 18 years and enjoy the small “home town” community. Throughout the past 10 years I have done some amazing things within this church and I’m looking forward to the new adventures that God has planed for me.
 
 

 EDNA MILLER - OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

 Edna has been a church secretary/office administrator/office  manager for 30 years. She started out at Faith UMC in Middletown,  working there on two separate occasions. Over the last 30 years,  Edna has worked at  First Baptist Church in Middletown, St. James  UMC in Miamisburg, Hope UMC in Hunter and Christ UMC. Edna  and her husband, Warren, have been married 28 years and are  lifelong residents of Middletown.  She has one son, Tommy and  Warren has two sons, Rob and Joe. They have three  granddaughters, Hailey, Hanna and Julia and one grandson, Hudson.  Edna’s son and his family live in Middletown and Warren’s two sons and their families live in North Carolina. Edna and Warren share their home with their dog Skooter who is a Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkie mix).  She is an avid lover of Golden Retrievers – and has had three over the years – and hopes someday to have another one.
 
Contact Edna at monroeumc@cinci.rr.com
 

 MELANIE FLOWER - ACCOMPANIST 

 Melanie has been a resident of Monroe most her life. Her family  includes husband John, daughter Tonya Deem, son Kevin,  granddaughter Morgan and grandson Dakota. She is also blessed  to have in the family four dogs and four horses.
 
Melanie attended Monroe local schools and after graduating went to Miami University and earned a B.S. in Education. After beginning her teaching career she earned a Master’s degree in Classroom Teaching from Wright State. She retired from Middletown City Schools in 1999. 
 
Her hobbies include working outdoors, reading, doing crosswords and Sudoku, and spending time with my grandchildren.
 
I have been the organist at Monroe United Methodist Church for 49 years. Her responsibilities include playing for the 8:30 and 10:45 services, attending choir rehearsals, practicing and playing for soloists and small groups, playing for special services like Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve. She also play at funerals that are held in our church.
 
Contact Melanie at monroeumc@cinci.rr.com
 

 BARB CONLEY - PIANIST 

 Barbara has been pianist since l982. She has served as  organist, handbell director and choir member. She graduated from  University of Kentucky with BA in Education and from Miami  University with a Masters in Guidance and Counseling.

Barbara and her husband, Ron have two children, Rhonda and Rod, and two grandchildren, Jessica and David 
Finley. Being a volunteer at Bull's Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, a member of the Ashlawn Literary Society and the Literary Sisterhood, and playing bridge are her hobbies.
 

 CHUCK GARITSON - WORSHIP & PRAISE BAND LEADER 

 Started at church as Cubmaster about 1994.  Became a member  around 1995 and started singing in the 8:30 and 9:30 services  shortly after.
 
 Sang with the choir for a short time, and also played with the adult  handbell choir. Started helping out with the sound engineering duties about 1998, and took over as chief sound engineer about 2007.
 
Helped form and start the 9:30 praise and worship service, and helped to form the original praise band in 2001. Became the Worship Leader for that service in 2011. Currently singing, leading worship, and praising the Lord with the greatest group of Christians around.
 

STEVE RIZKALLAH - CUSTODIAN