Our Pastor

thanksgiving

Rev. Janice Sutton Lynn was appointed to the Sparta United Methodist Church in July of 2014 after serving eight years at Trinity UMC in Highland Park and five years at the Wantage United Methodist Church as a Licensed Local Pastor. While at Trinity, Janice started services of Contemplative Taize Worship, times of Centering Prayer, and provided a healing love and stability to the congregation. She helped to renew the Sunday School program and grow the congregation in a college town.  While at Wantage, Janice led 16 youth to their Confirmation, focused on deep spiritual experience based in the Holy Seasons and the Christian calendar, and gave birth to Faith Talks, an ongoing ministry of theological dialogue.

Pastor Janice has a vested interest in theologies of liberation and inclusion, and reclaiming the Spirit of the early church. Pastor Janice has served on COSROW – the Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and the Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns Committee.  She is deeply interested in Interfaith Dialogue and believes from a very deep place…. that this is where, and how, God is calling. She now serves on the Greater NJ Annual Conference Finance and Administration team and DCOM, the District Committee on Ordained Ministry.

Pastor Janice celebrates that the church has always been sanctuary and safe space for her, and that the call of the Divine Spirit has been both present and palpable. At the same time, she mourns that “churches, and the conduct therein, have not been safe or loving for everyone.” She believes that confessing such truth about our present reality (and the complicity of our silence throughout history) might set us all free.

Janice worked for twenty years in publishing, in accounting and in advertising. The last seven years she worked for the New York Times. While living in NYC, she worshiped at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and began her preaching ministry at the Bowery Mission on the lower East Side.  She continued working with those special communities while a member of the First United Methodist Church of Downtown Dallas. She transferred to Dallas while with the Times. It was there she met her dear friend and mentor, the Rev. Wallace Chappell, who planted and sowed the seeds for her preaching ministry while in seminary.

Janice received her Master of Divinity from Drew Theological School and graduated magna cum laude in May of 2006. She was Ordained as an Elder in Full Connection at the Greater NJ Annual Conference in June 2010.  She was married in December 2012 to the amazing Robert Lynn who is her partner in life and in ministry.

Janice’s first Sunday in a local church pulpit was ten days after 9-11.  She comments that, “For a moment that lasted a couple of months, it seemed that people actually needed the church again.”