Church of the Saviour welcomes new leaders
In the United Methodist Church (UMC), when candidates for the ministry are ordained as elders, they agree to become itinerant pastors. This means they follow in the footsteps of John Wesley and are moved from one congregation to another, at the discretion of the conference bishop. So, when Reverend Dr. Charles Yoost announced he would retire as the senior pastor of Church of the Saviour, effective June 30 of this year, Bishop John Hopkins, resident bishop of the UMC’s East Ohio Conference, began a search for his replacement.
The result of this search was that Reverends Judy Wismar Claycomb and Andy Call were introduced to the staff-parish relationship committee for approval and, on July 1, joined Reverend Dianne Tobey Covault, to become the pastoral ministry team at the church.
Claycomb recently completed a six-year term as Firelands District superintendent and had previously served as pastor of Westlake UMC, the Medina County chaplain of hospice and a graduate-level instructor at Methodist Theological School of Ohio. She is a native of Cleveland Heights and is married to retired autoworker Michael Claycomb.
Call was serving as pastor of Oberlin First UMC at the time of his appointment, and previously had been the associate for music and worship at Westlake UMC. His wife, Jennifer, and he have three children.
“Judy Claycomb is unflappable and spiritually centered,” said Hopkins. “She is a truth-teller, compassionate about the marginalized, pastoral and prophetic. Judy is a vessel of God’s grace. She seeks beauty and harmony in the midst of ugliness and discord. Her experience in parish ministry and supervision of pastors has equipped her to lead Church of the Saviour.”
With regard to Call, he noted, “Andy is a gifted worship leader who communicates his faith with passion and intellectual integrity. He is articulate, compassionate, visionary and astute. His winsome manner engages people to put their faith into action. Like John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, Andy knows there is no personal holiness without social holiness.”
Reverend Dr. Steve Bailey, who assisted in the search process, noted, “The retirement of Dr. Yoost presented a need for seasoned, creative and inspiring leadership at Church of the Saviour. Judy Claycomb has displayed these qualities in her leadership of the Firelands District and during her service at Westlake and other congregations. Andy Call is widely recognized as one of our brightest and best young pastors, and he provided transformative leadership at Oberlin UMC."
Claycomb said that she and Call were excited to return to the creative, diverse and eclectic Heights community. “Church of the Saviour embodies our high values of open minds, open hearts and open doors—an active regional church that reflects the racial and cultural gifts and diversity of Greater Cleveland. Our hope is to work together to strengthen our congregation’s identity as a missional, multi-cultural community of faith.”
Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road, welcomes all to attend its Sunday worship services. For information, visit www.chsaviour.org.
Richard Hiles is a member of Church of the Saviour and serves as vice chair of its staff-parish relations committee.