Introducing The Rev. Dana Hughes - Transitional (Interim) Presbytery Pastor

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From Our Presbytery Council Moderator

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Presbytery of Denver Council, I am pleased to announce that the Council has offered a one-year contract to Rev. Dana Hughes to be our Transitional Presbytery Pastor. Rev. Hughes has accepted the offered Terms of Service and will attend the October 23rd Presbytery Assembly where she will be introduced, and Presbytery members will have the opportunity to meet her. She will begin her work with us on November 1, 2018.

Rev. Hughes comes to us from the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta where she has worked as a transitional pastor of congregations as well as has been involved with the transitional leadership process of that presbytery.

Why are we calling Rev. Hughes’s position a Transitional Presbytery Pastor rather than an Interim Presbytery Pastor? The old paradigm of Interim Ministry called for the Interim Pastor to engage in a pathology of the presbytery or congregation in order to identify and remove whatever was hindering growth and harmony. The new paradigm of Transitional Ministry is to listen and learn with appreciation for the good and healthy components in the life of a presbytery or congregation and identify ways to maximize that goodness into a vision for the future God has for that entity.

The Council is appreciative of the good and extensive work of Rev. Louise Westfall and the Search Committee. We are also enthusiastic about Rev. Hughes' collaborative approach to mapping the next path on our journey toward a vision of the church God asks us to be. We very much look forward as a Council and as a Presbytery to working with Rev. Hughes!

In gratitude for all the prayers and service that have brought us to this hoped-for and hope-filled point in our journey,

Jean Demmler, Council Moderator Pro Tem

From Our Search Team

We are pleased that the Council of Denver Presbytery has approved our recommendation for Transitional Presbytery Pastor, the Rev. Dana Hughes, and she has accepted. 

Dana became our choice after a thorough, prayerful discernment process. She rose to the top because of her deep, relational faith and commitment to follow Jesus; her compassion for people and desire to build community across human differences; her experience and articulate understanding of transitional ministry; and the warmth and humor evident in her conversation born of hope and a deep trust in God’s unconditional love and redemptive purposes. 
She has been part of a visioning process and strategic planning within congregations as well as the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Dana uses an appreciative inquiry approach and is looking forward to helping us with a visioning process here in Denver. Members of our committee commented on Dana’s honesty and willingness to engage complicated issues in a spirit of openness. A word that many of her colleagues used to describe her is “joyous,” and we saw much evidence of that in our conversations. We find ourselves excited as we envision her in leadership in Denver Presbytery---supporting and guiding us faithfully into the future. 

We are deeply grateful for your prayers and support during this search process. Please keep Dana and her family in prayers as she makes the transition from Atlanta to Denver. 

The Interim Presbytery Pastor Nominating Committee ~
Joel Adams
John Anderson
Wanda Beauman
Katie Robb Davis
Dietmar Fritsch
Lemuel Velasco
Louise Westfall, Moderator

From Our Presbytery Moderator

It was my privilege to serve on the Interim Presbytery Pastor Search Committee.  We were well represented by a committee that brought diverse perspectives yet was of one mind in what we were seeking in a candidate.  And the Rev. Dana Hughes embodies all that we were looking for.  She is pastoral, warm and disarmingly genuine.  And she is a proven leader with the skill set needed to companion us on our transitional journey.  We believe that she will lead us well into this season of visioning together.  I look forward to working with her.

Together in Christ,
John E. Anderson, Moderator

Greetings Denver Presbytery!
~ Meet Rev. Dana Hughes ~

dana hughes headshot (2).jpg

I am honored to be your Transitional Presbytery Pastor. I am moving to Denver from Atlanta, Georgia, and will begin my journey with you on November 1. 

WHERE ARE YOU FROM ~ I was born at a very young age in Kansas City, Missouri, where the spirit of “can-do” and “honest to Pete” filled my lungs from first breath on. The family moved to Atlanta when I was ten, and it was there that I became steeped in the southern proprieties of saying “bless your heart” (and knowing what it means), the proper treatment of a bowl of grits, how to wield a southern accent, and most important of all, the proud and terrible history of the South. Formed by Midwestern and Southern cultures, I am a woman who is passionate about justice and equality, giving voice to the voiceless, telling stories that must be heard from life and scripture, and believing that anything is possible with God.

FAMILY~ Bill Hughes and I have been happily married for 30 years. Bill is an attorney with the law firm of Alston & Bird. Together we are the suspender-snapping parents of three fabulous adult children. William lives in Denver and is a Clerk at the Eugene Field Public Library. John is a storyboard artist living in New York City. Rosie is in Minneapolis where she does development for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Our current household includes one puppy and four cats. I am a published poet, a potter, knitter, quilter, gardener, and a mighty fine cook. I love all kinds of music and my reading swings wildly between history, biography and fiction. Bill and I enjoy riding bicycles, running, entertaining, going to movies, visiting our far-flung children, and exploring the world.

MINISTRY ~ Interim Ministry has been my focus for 18 years, and I have served churches great and small, some healthy and thriving and some crippled and dying. Through these various contexts I have learned to lean hard on the grace of God and to be practical but hopeful. Presbyterian to my marrow, I cherish the orderliness of our denomination almost as much as the connectionalism. When the Northern and Southern churches were reunited in 1983, I was there, witnessing the birth of our amazing, imperfect, and still becoming PCUSA.

BELIEFS ~ I firmly believe that our triune God is still working with the clay of creation, continuing to shape us in the image that only God can know, molding us according to God's desire for diversity. I believe that God created all that there is and pronounced it good. In creating humanity, God gave us the gift of free will, and we freely chose to rebel against God. Yet the love of God is constant, and it is through the death and resurrection of God's beloved Son, Jesus, that the vicious grip of sin is broken, we are forgiven and we are set free to live as the children of God we are meant to be. I believe that the Holy Spirit provides the faith to believe everything that Jesus taught us as well as the courage to live those teachings. I believe God's grace is beyond our comprehension and given to all of humanity, regardless of the particularities of our faith practice or behavior. God knows that we struggle to understand the profound nature of love that is given without merit, and yet God is delighted to give us grace upon grace. I believe our call is helping our brothers and sisters, whoever and wherever they may be, to grasp this wonderful Good News, inviting them to share likewise.

As we enter this time of transition together, I pray that the Spirit of God will fill us, challenge us, encourage us, and accompany us every step of the way as we venture into the future. I am wrapping this Presbytery in a blanket of prayer. Please do the same for me.

Always hopeful,