Announcing Reverend Lee Schott

Pastor Mary will retire in June after four years at this church. In the United Methodist church, the Bishop appoints new pastors. Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai and her cabinet considered ten ministers for our church. I am pleased to announce that Rev. Lee Schott has been appointed as our pastor starting July 1, 2024. Her bio is below.

Since July 2020, Lee Roorda Schott has served as pastor of Valley United Methodist Church in West Des Moines, Iowa. She comes to this work from nine years as pastor of Women at the Well in Mitchellville, a church based inside the walls of the Iowa women’s prison. That work planted in her a vision of the church outside the prison embracing persons right in their communities who face challenges like the ones we see so often inside the prison: addiction, mental illness, sexual assault and domestic violence. The church on the whole is impoverished by the absence–and the silence–of those experiences and voices in our midst. Her 2019 book, Foolish Church: Messy, Raw, Real, and Making Room, seeks to cast this vision for the church outside the prison. She is also the author of The Fools’ Manual, a Foolish Church study guide, and Job, a 2011 bible study in Abingdon’s Immersion series.

Lee previously served (2003-2011) as co-pastor of Polk City United Methodist Church, a small-town church near the Des Moines metro. A 2007 graduate, with honors, of Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, Lee was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 2009.

Lee’s ministry career follows what she had thought would be a career in law. After graduating from college at the University of Iowa, she went east to Harvard Law School and began her career at a law firm in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1995 she and her family moved home to Iowa and she worked as an in-house lawyer at a life insurance company in Des Moines. A lifelong United Methodist, she sensed a call from God after she began praying in earnest at the age of nearly 40. Her ministry has combined a delight in the creativity and wonder of worship with a deep commitment to social justice and how we mobilize the church to be a Spirit-led force to transform the world.

Lee was raised on her family’s century farm near Prairie City, Iowa. This year she and her husband Daniel will celebrate 40 years of marriage. They are the parents of three grown sons who all live in central Iowa. Lee is surrounded by proud Cyclone friends and relatives, including her late mother and her brother and middle son William.

We are excited to welcome Pastor Lee in July and celebrate this remaing time with Pastor Mary.