WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (March 5, 2013)—Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., announces the appointment of the Rev. Renae Extrum-Fernandez to serve the Hillsdale United Methodist Church (UMC) in San Mateo, Calif., as an Interim Minister, beginning July 1. She is completing a six year term as a district superintendent currently serving the Bridges District.
"This is an interim appointment which will focus on the ministry and vision of this congregation, as it continues to live out its mission," said Brown. The congregation worships in two languages, English and Tongan, reflecting the multi ethnic nature of the church. Approximately half of the members are Tongan, and the other half are of multiple cultures, primarily Euro-American.
In the United Methodist tradition, the training and appointment of interim pastors began about twenty years ago as a response to congregations which could benefit from letting go of "church as usual" in order to focus on particular transitions.
"Renae is gifted in transformational leadership and we are blessed to have her experienced leadership in our annual conference," said Brown.
For Hillsdale UMC, the interim year follows the anticipated retirement of their current pastor, the Rev. Steve Thompson. Thompson served 10 years as Senior Pastor of this congregation. In recent years, the congregation has explored how to be a church that is one in Jesus Christ, across cultures and generations. It is hoped that the interim leadership will help focus on these transitions and opportunities.
Extrum-Fernandez, who was born and raised in Pittsburg, California, is the first Latina clergywoman to receive ordination and full membership the California-Nevada Annual Conference. She has served La Iglesia Methodista Unida Central (Central UMC) in San Francisco, First UMC, Palo Alto, Lake Merritt UMC, and Walnut Creek UMC.
She has served the denomination on the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), the Western Jurisdiction Hispanic Ministry Committee, and the National Indigenous Community Developers. Extrum-Fernandez has represented the California-Nevada Annual Conference as a delegate to General Conference four times. She also served as a US-2 with the former national division of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) as a Church and Community Worker with the Latino community at Sierra Vista UMC and Grace UMC in Fresno.
Extrum-Fernandez earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Davis with a major in International Agricultural Development and a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology.
Extrum-Fernandez is married to Paul Extrum-Fernandez, Pensions and Benefits officer of the California-Nevada Annual Conference and they have two daughters, Elana and Daniela.