Lead Pastor

Rev. Mary Dotson

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Dear Friends,

July is 1st here and I am very much looking forward to begin my time as your new Pastor.

I’d like to share a personal note further introducing my husband and me...

We are from the east coast, although we both have lived on the west coast as well. Ash was a United Methodist Pastor for 12 years before becoming an American Baptist pastor while I was pastoring a church in northern PA. We both missed the southwest and after several cold winters decided to move back. Bishop Hoshibata appointed me to the First UMC of Safford in 2017, where we have lived for the past three years.

Serving the church is a second career for both of us. Ash served in the Air Force and later was a test engineer for a large rocket company. (yes, we watched the Space X launch, and he knows every plane that flies overhead and those in movies). Along with being a Soccer Mom, volunteering with every organization group I could, I taught English as a Second language to mostly Japanese women in Southern California and did some freelance writing.

Like you all my husband Ash and I, along with our golden doodle Bella have been sheltering in place in our home these many weeks since early March. It’s been a challenge for us to do our jobs in a new way. Ash is a certified Spiritual Director who is also writing a devotional book on the Gospel of John. In addition, he is working to be a certified Enneagram professional through the internationally known Chestnut and Paes Enneagram Academy. Much of his work can be done by zoom and yet we all know the value of in person interactions. Please keep him prayer as he settles in a new community and works to build his Spiritual Direction practice.

Ash and I have three children. Ash’s daughter, Jenn and family live in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay. They have 2 boys ages 12 and 10. My son, Ian and his family live in Southeast Philadelphia. Currently, he, his wife Ashley and sons (8 & 5) are sheltering in northern Vermont so the boys can explore nature during this time. My daughter Susan and her husband Zach also reside in South Philadelphia. Ash and I love to read theology/contemplative literature. I’m a Hildegard of Bingen fan and read Christine Valters Painter along with international novels that pertain to food. We love to explore the desert, rock hound and kayak. Having explored the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona we look forward to checking out the beauty that the Mohave will display for us.

As an extravert who also values alone time, I thrive more when I can be with the person or group I am speaking with; these weeks of sheltering in place, doing church via ZOOM and leading worship behind a camera while sitting in my home office have been challenging! Creative, and maybe even fun at times - but I miss in-person interactions with people. However, I was recently reminded that God had fun during creation. Proverbs 8:30-31 tells us: “I was beside him as a master of crafts. I was having fun, smiling before him all the time, frolicking with his inhabited earth and delighting in the human race.” Such an encouraging picture of God, Creator, Spirit and Wisdom enjoying the process of reshaping chaos into beauty. God wasn’t bogged down by the chaos but had fun with the process and enjoyed interacting with the outcome! As your pastor, I pledge, with God’s help to rise above the chaos and even have fun exploring how to live into our vision as the community if faith in Clark County. I trust that you too will attempt to enjoy the process - with God’s help.

Since the evening I met with your Staff Parish Relations Committee, I have been praying for them and for you, the greater GVUM Church family as we go through this process of transition. All pastoral transitions are challenging - there is a measure of grief involved for each of us. There are questions whether the current pastor will remember us, or you may wonder why they can’t still help you with your spiritual issues or officiate your wedding, etc.

And I am certain you have questions about me. Will she change the order of worship? Will I need to learn new hymns? Will her sermons be long or short - will her sermons speak to me? So, please, if you have questions, please email me or send a note to the office so that I can either respond to your concern through email or we can set up a time to meet.

Beginning from my first Sunday, I hope to help you get to know me by preaching from my favorite texts from scripture. I normally preach from the lectionary, but I often find that the summer Sundays are a great time to try something different.

Let me give you a little idea of my schedule in the office and how I go about my week. It’s been my practice, prior to going into the office to spend an hour in prayer and meditation. I will have office hours, Mondays I spend setting the order of worship for the coming Sunday. Wednesdays have been Sermon writing days. My “weekend” is Friday and Saturdays. I am grateful that our Bishop values pastors’ spiritual and mental health - Ash and I also find that this gives us time to reconnect with one another and unplug after a busy week. If you like to meet with me or wish to let me know about hospital admittance, emergencies, etc please email me or call the office. I will be free for appointments from Saturday through Wednesday.

If you are on Facebook, please do not hesitate to send me a friend request. On Facebook, I post sermon notes, quotes that may find their way into the sermon, articles that interest me and articles that I think are helpful for our walk with God. And there are always family interests posts :)

One more very important note: At the beginning of this transition time. I invite you to join me in a season of prayer. During this transitional time will you pray this prayer adapted from Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus?

Gracious God, through your Spirit, strengthen each of us in our inner selves. May Christ live in our hearts and as a result of having strong roots in Love, I ask that each of us who are members and friends of GVUMC will have the power to grasp Love’s width and length, height and depth, together. I pray that we will know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge, so that we will live full lives entirely in the fullness of God. Amen.

This is a time of new beginnings, as one of my favorite hymns says, a time to let go of the past and move on, to press forward together in Love.

Because of Jesus,

Pastor Mary

Youth Ministry Director

Megan Gilley

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Hi, everyone. My name is Megan Gilley. I have accepted the position of Director of Youth Ministry. Thank you, Pastor Jim and Lynn Wallasky for this opportunity.

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. I joined Green Valley United Methodist with my parents in 1999. I went to Green Valley High School and graduated from UNLV. My background is in Health Science, but I served as Children’s Activities Director at a local resort for two years in college.

I will have been married to my husband Brian for ten years this year. We have a four year old daughter, Ellie, and a nine month old baby boy, Eli. We have loved getting more active in church activities through our daughter this past year. We have met so many amazing people and hope to continue to cultivate new relationships with the youth and their parents. I look forward to utilizing my background working with children and applying my faith to help our church family on this new journey. 

Director of Music Ministries

Heather Scobie

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Heather Scobie is currently in her sixteenth year of teaching.   She has taught in the Las Vegas area for the past fifteen years, having taught her first year in Oklahoma.  Heather came to Las Vegas as a choral director at Keller Middle School.  After two years, she was asked to join the teaching staff at a new school, Harney Middle School.  During Heather’s five years of teaching at Harney, she built the program from the ground up, establishing a tradition of excellence!  By the time Heather left Harney Middle School, she had over 400 students singing in the program with all choirs receiving superior ratings at all festival events.  During her time as a middle school choir director, Heather held leadership positions in the Clark County School District as Honor Choir Coordinator and the East Zone Middle School Representative.  Heather also held leadership roles with the Music Educator’s Association for the State of Nevada as the Solo and Ensemble chairperson.  Heather was honored by her colleagues in 2005-2006 with an award that she holds very dear to her heart, New Music Educator of the Year.  Another highlight of Heather’s middle school experience is her publication in the American Choral Director’s Association Western Division’s newsletter, Tactus …”What Does It Take To Create a Successful Junior High/Middle School Choral Program?”  After publication she was then asked to discuss her article as well as present a reading session at the Four Corners Workshops in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2007. 

Mrs. Scobie was then given the opportunity to move to the high school level in 2007-2008 when she accepted the teaching position at Las Vegas High School.  While at Las Vegas High School, Heather continued with all the rich traditions that were already in place as well as beginning a few new ones.  Her choirs at Las Vegas High School performed with grace, musicality and superior sound.  In 2009, Heather joined the Fine Arts Department at Foothill High School where she once again began building a program of excellence!  She continued working with the outstanding students and faculty until 2013.  While at Foothill High School, she grew the choral program from 130 students to over 240, receiving superior ratings at district and out of state festivals. 

As a high school choral director, she continued to give her time and energy to the Clark County School District as the Zone 2 Representative for high school choral directors and sat on several planning committees for professional development events.  Heather has served as the Nevada Music Educator’s All-State Housing Chair for three years and 2014 ended her six year service for the State of Nevada as an All-State Choir Committee Member/Chairman.  Throughout Heather’s teaching career, she continuously works on her craft by studying conducting with outstanding choral conductors such as Ronald Staheli, Rodney Eichenberger and Donald Brinegar.

Most days, you will find Heather spending her time as a stay at home mom raising her family of four boys.  However, she is often called upon by her colleagues to be a guest clinician in their choral classrooms.   She is also enjoying her time teaching at The College of Southern Nevada as adjunct faculty.  This will be Mrs. Scobie’s second year conducting the College Singers and her second semester teaching a voice class as well as private voice students.  Music is her passion and she is thrilled to been given this opportunity to work with the talented people at GVUMC as the Director of Music Ministries!