Introducing Our New Youth Pastor


I am beyond proud to introduce the church family to our new youth pastor — and my middle daughter! As you may all know, we’ve been without a youth staff person since Eva Englert-Jessen left us last Easter. To be honest, we’ve had a dearth of applications and interested persons since then.

Then Chloe showed some interest, and I encouraged her to submit her resume. Since the Staff-Parish Relations Committee made its decision a few weeks ago, Chloe has started making plans.

Here’s a brief introduction to Chloe in her own words:

Hello! My name is Chloe Magruder. I am currently studying at the University of Texas at Arlington for a degree in English and I will be graduating this May with a teaching certificate.

I am looking forward to helping the youth of the church grow in their faith and leadership in the community. Growing up, I was a member of two very amazing youth groups, with leaders and students who helped me understand myself and my faith. All of my middle and high school years, I spent a week at Bridgeport Camp and Conference Center worshipping and creating friendships that will last me a lifetime. I am now a volunteer every year and have gained countless skills to lead a small group of humans that want to further their relationship with God.

Being a part of a youth group was such a large part of my teenage years and I want to be able to give our youth the same opportunities that I was blessed with, and more.

While I serve as the youth pastor, I would like to focus on the individual development of each youth in who they are before they are sent off into the world post-graduation. I am looking forward to getting to know every single person in this church even more and working to make our youth feel at home at Kessler Park UMC.

To reach Chloe Magruder, you can contact her at

Making Our Ministry Safe


There are a lot of things I like about having Rev. Kay Ash on staff. Since she started as our full-time Director of Christian Education, we have been blessed by so many of her gifts and graces for ministry.

One important gift that she brings is a wealth of experience related to child safety, particularly as it relates to our requirements and obligations as a United Methodist Church in the North Texas Conference.

I learned a lot about safety when she got here and started asking questions about whether or not the church is in conformity with conference standards. I assumed we were since we ask volunteers with children and youth to get a background check and undergo some online training.

Unfortunately, I discovered quickly that not all our volunteers have met those requirements. I assumed too much.

But I also discovered that this was not all that was needed by the conference. Kay informed me that being fully accredited by Ministry Safe requires a number of other documents and protocols, which I didn’t know.

Unbeknownst to me, under my pastoral leadership, KPUMC has not met the standards that are required by the North Texas Conference. I apologize for my part in not knowing the appropriate actions that needed to be taken, and I have authorized Kay to lead the process whereby we enter into full compliance.

It’s not just a background check and online video anymore; other things that need to be completed for ALL volunteers with children and youth include a Safety Application form, an interview, and a reference check. Compliance renewal must be completed via online training every two years, and background checks must be renewed every two to three years.

All of this is important because the conference looks at our compliance statistics and uses the information when evaluating our ministries. And if, God forbid, there were to be an incident of abuse here on our campus, the conference and our insurers would want to know what we had done to prevent it.

In the end, this isn’t about insurance rates or money. This is about the safety of the children and youth on our campus.

According to Ministry Safe, 1 of 3 girls and 1 of 6 boys will be sexually molested before reaching age 18. Additionally, 90% of sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they know and trust.

This means that a church campus is a particularly vulnerable location for sexual predators. If we are serious about making sure that this kind of abuse does not occur on our church grounds, then we must do everything we can to prevent it. That includes following the direction of Ministry Safe, which can help us provide a comprehensive program to ensure all children and youth have a safe haven, and that all of our churches are a place of sacred trust and security..

Kay and I are in the process of moving our church into compliance. If you are asked to fill out new paperwork or undergo training, please understand that this is not because we are suspicious about your behavior or have done anything wrong! The things we may ask from you have nothing to do with you personally. This is about doing the right thing for our church and our children.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. As always, the goal is that KPUMC remain a safe, warm, loving and caring place for all people. Especially kids.


Spring break is almost here! I expect that many of you will take the week to jet off somewhere fun or try to get away for a break.

I hope you take some time for relaxation and enjoy some spring weather. But let me warn you — when you get back to church, get ready for some pleasant changes!

For one, over spring break, we’re having the rest of the repair work done on the top and ground floors from the January 1st burst pipe. We’re getting some rooms and hallways re-floored and re-painted. (We’ve already had the second floor hall and children’s ministry room re-carpeted.) Believe me, it’s going to look great!

You’ll also notice something else different on Sunday, March 18. You’ll see a new person in the chancel with me, Ken, and Jonathan. We will welcome our new staff member, Rev. Kay Ash, who begins as our full-time Director of Christian Education.


I am very excited to welcome Kay to Kessler Park UMC. For one, this marks a significant and important step up for our church. For the first time in a while, this church will have TWO appointed clergy on staff. Kay is a commissioned deacon in the North Texas Conference, and is on pace to be ordained in two years.

I will give Kay a chance to introduce herself once she joins us, but suffice it to say that her resume is quite impressive. She graduated from American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she worked as an actor and dancer for 18 years before moving back to Dallas, where she earned a Masters degree from Perkins School of Theology.  She has worked in children’s ministry at Bridgeport Camp, Arapaho UMC in Richardson, and currently at First UMC Gainesville.

Her responsibilities at KPUMC will include overseeing all aspects of children’s ministry, including the nursery, Parents Day Out, and our regular children’s programming, including Vacation Bible School and Easter Parade.

To be honest, I didn’t know Kay before she applied for this job, but since getting to know her, I have been blown away by her energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of ministry with children. I know that she’s the right person for the job at this moment in time, and I’m excited that we will all benefit from her wisdom.

I’m grateful to Nell Lind, Ashley Shultz, Sally Climer, Wendy Ogren, and everyone else who has pitched in to assist with ongoing children’s programs since Erin Klein left us. They have gone above and beyond to keep things going while we waited for Kay to join us.

And I’m also thankful to Cammy Gaston, our district superintendent, and Bishop Mike McKee who made this appointment happen. They recognized that our church will flourish under Kay’s guidance and leadership.

This is a good time to be part of the family of Kessler Park UMC. God is doing something very cool here!