On July 5, Kris Schonewolf started her journey as a messenger of God as Ewell’s-St. Paul United Methodist Church’s new pastor. Schonewolf said after working in corporate sales for 11 years and then as a paralegal, God chose a new path for her to follow. Schonewolf works a part-time schedule at the Clayton church, about 25 hours a week, because she's still working toward her seminary degree, a master’s degree of divinity.
On July 5, Kris Schonewolf started her journey as a messenger of God as Ewell’s-St. Paul United Methodist Church’s new pastor.
Schonewolf said after working in corporate sales for 11 years and then as a paralegal, God chose a new path for her to follow.
“I’ve known I was on this track since 2002,” she said. “I had a vision. I was on a retreat weekend. I knew from that point that’s where God was pointing me.”
Schonewolf works a part-time schedule at the Clayton church, about 25 hours a week, because she is still working toward her seminary degree, which is a master’s degree of divinity. After earning her associate’s degree years ago, she attended Wilmington University and graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree.
Along with her studies, she is serving a chaplainry internship at Christiana Hospital, a full-time summer position from June 1 to August 15. When she completes her master’s degree in May, she will be at the church full time and hold office hours.
“It’s a long process – a lot of school and preparation,” she said. “All of us have to get a psych evaluation, background check, and have to have a mentor. It shouldn’t be easy to become a pastor.”
The local Bishop appoints new pastors in the area for the local United Methodist conference, the Peninsula-Delaware Conference. The conference held its annual meeting at the University of Maryland in June.
As the newly-appointed pastor, Schonewolf has begun preaching, teaching Sunday school and planning and instructing a few other programs. She said there is always a learning experience and she isn’t used to being in charge of the management side of the church.
“The part I’m nervous about is the administration,” Schonewolf said. “The administration side will be a little more challenging. The Bible study and preaching is where I’m more comfortable.”
She said she still is not 100 percent sure of the direction of Ewell’s-St. Paul.
“Every pastor has to find their own visions,” Schonewolf said. “I’m still seeking in prayer where God wants to take the church.”
Schonewolf said she hopes to attract new members. She said she is doing some advertising just to let people know they are there and open to new members.
“Some people don’t have a church they can call home,” she said. “I’m going to look at what we’re currently doing and what we need. It’s not about what you want to do; it’s what the community needs.”
“It’s doing something the church hasn’t seen,” Schonewolf said. “I’d like to see some new families. The congregation is very inviting to new families. We are a church with open doors, open hearts, and open minds.”
Ewell’s-St. Paul Church information
Location: Corner of Clayton Avenue and West Street in Clayton, one block north of Main Street (Route 6).
Sunday School: 8:45 a.m.
Sunday Worship: 10 a.m.
Phone number: 653-7280