Mike Lawson, second from right, shared reflections at a community candlelight vigil for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shootings in December 2012. File photo by Marcy Stamper

Mike Lawson, second from right, shared reflections at a community candlelight vigil for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shootings in December 2012. File photo by Marcy Stamper

By Marcy Stamper

Methow Valley United Methodist Church pastor Mike Lawson will head to Lewiston, Idaho (just across the border), to take a new post as pastor at the Orchards United Methodist Church there.

Lawson said he does not know the Lewiston area—he has only made a brief visit—but said the circumstances were similar when he came to the Methow Valley two years ago. “I had never been to the Methow Valley before, but I looked around and thought it would be a neat place to live,” said Lawson. “It’s normal in the itinerant ministry to move around.”

The church reviews assignments for all churches in the region every year and makes appointments to fill open spots, starting with replacements for retiring pastors, said Juli Reinholz, the district superintendent for the Seven Rivers District, which covers much of Eastern Washington.

“It’s been a wonderful, wonderful experience here,” said Lawson. “We’re really going to miss our friends here.” 

Lawson, like all Methodist pastors around the country who are starting new assignments, will make the switch on July 1. Pastor Don Ford, who was formerly at the church in Pagosa Springs, Colo., will start in the Methow on the same day.