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

Something's Happening Here


You have a lot of churches to choose from.

Let’s be honest — some of them have much better preachers than me. Some of them have better music programs; if you like rock music, there are churches that have services designed specifically for you. Some churches have much bigger choirs, orchestras, bands, and multiple children’s choirs.

There may not be many church buildings more beautiful than ours, but there are buildings that are bigger, with more comfortable seating, with big screens and fancy visuals, with bigger stained glass compositions.

Don’t get me started with the children’s and youth programs: some churches have built entire buildings to house those booming ministries. Some churches have rock climbing walls, castle playhouses, and gymnasiums for their kids; some even have entire departments staffed by multiple pastors.

Some churches have a lot more money than ours; they have famous people, athletes, big-name CEOs, and celebrities making regular donations. Some churches are so financially successful that their pastors have their own private jets.

There are churches that are high-church, with lots of liturgy, fancy robes, and incense; there are churches that are low-church, with simple prayers, hand-clapping, and shouted amens. Some churches are full of white people, while others are mostly brown or black, and some are even a diverse mix of colors.

And, yes, I suppose that some churches have more active laypeople, more volunteers, more competent members who have more time to give to the church.

You could attend any one of these many churches in the Dallas area. Or you could drive over to Fort Worth — it’s not that bad of a drive on Sunday morning.

You have a choice when it comes to which church you attend. I’m very aware of that fact. I’m always aware that other churches do some things much better than us, and I’m hyper-aware of the things that we don’t do very well at all, including myself.

But I’m beginning to understand that there is something very profound happening at Kessler Park UMC that is unique to this location, to this group of people, to this particular time in history.

We are becoming a community; we are slowly and gradually becoming a group of people who have been called together by the living God. Every single one of us belongs. There are others who haven’t arrived yet, but they’re on their way. In the meantime, we are growing together, and our commitment toward each other is becoming stronger and stronger.

Something has taken root within us, something which I would simply call “love.” I feel it among all of you — you really do love each other. You may not know every face in the sanctuary on a given Sunday morning, but you do your best to welcome, support, encourage, and strengthen each other.

Another word for this is koinonia, the word we use in our weekly liturgy before our “Sharing of Shalom.” Koinonia refers to the kind of fellowship and community which is the consequence of the unity of the Holy Spirit. We are beginning to live koinonia out, and the result is going to be something very special.

Keep loving each other, and keep widening the circle. God is working amongst us!