Pastor Holly Sortland

Pastor Holly

A note from Pastor Holly:

Hello from your new Pastor! I am honored and humbled to be called to serve this wonderful congregation, and am grateful to the bishop and the people of South Maple for calling me to this ministry.

I am so excited to meet the South Maple family, hear your hopes and dreams, and do the work that God is calling us to do. I know that many of you are curious and nervous about this new transition, and I am too! I am grateful for God’s grace, and looking forward to living in it as we embark on this new journey together. In the meantime, here are a few things about I would like to share about myself:

I have a BIG, beautiful family! I have been married to Eric for almost 15 years. Eric is a mechanic at Sturgis Motorsports. He also has a small shop in our lower garage filled with motorcycles and projects. He has big heart, can relate to anyone, and finds great joy in creating and fixing things.

We have four rambunctious children, ages 12, 10, 8 and 3!  

I moved to Rapid City when I was 6-years-old, grew up in Rapid Valley, and graduated from Rapid City Central in 1997. I attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and graduated in 2001. My husband and I have lived mostly in Rapid City, but spent a couple of years in California as well.

My call to ministry came later in life, right after I gave birth to our fourth child. (When God calls you, it’s not always at the most convenient times!) In January 2015, I was appointed to Canyon Lake United Methodist Church as an associate pastor, and have been serving as their Pastor of Discipleship since that time. I attend the course of study program at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and usually spend one to two weeks in July there to complete my studies on campus.

I find Jesus in the the joy of relationship and community, and believe that transformation and resurrection happens everyday through the power of loving relationships. I have big ideas, and I am not afraid to try new things—in fact, I believe that God is calling all of us to try new things!

Last year, I started a ministry at Canyon Lake called Waffle Church. Waffle Church is a gathering that meets one Saturday a month (over waffles, of course!) and families learn and prayer together. It is a chaotic, joyful experience that has grown to over 40 people at our last gathering. We also were blessed to baptise seven beautiful children at our last gathering!

I am excited about the opportunities at South Maple UMC. The diversity of the neighborhood, the willingness for growth and change, and the commitment of the members to grow God’s kingdom are all factors that I know will aid in growing and transforming our ministries.

I know that you will have lots of questions for me, and please know that as your new pastor, I will be available to you with an open heart and an open mind.  I am grateful for this opportunity (and a little nervous) but I know that God and grace will lead us in this journey.

Until, then I ask for your prayers. Prayers for the people of South Maple, and prayers for the people who will someday soon join South Maple! Let’s pray that the spirit will move us and grant us the courage to grow God’s kingdom here on earth. Out of this small faith community, God will do great things! God works through our struggles and offers resurrection in all places. I can’t wait to live out the resurrection story with you all!

I also ask for prayers for my family as we embark on this big transition, as we will be praying for and with all of you. In the meantime, I invite you to meditate on the this passage from Isaiah 43: 19, which I hope will help to guide us through this exciting time of transition:

I am about to do a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert.” (NRSV)

I look forward to what God has in store for us, as we walk this beautiful wilderness and create a way forward together.

In Christ’s love, peace & joy,

Pastor Holly Sortland