Meet our Pastor

Rev. Candace Lansberry

Liminal. I have recently been learning about liminality, defined as the time that is neither here nor there. Or, in the words of Ed Catmull from Pixar, “There is a sweet spot between the known and the unknown where originality happens; the key is to be able to linger there without panicking.” (From Susan Beaumont’s book, How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going).

Chandler UMC has been in a liminal space since November, and lingering somewhat in the unknown…and I appreciate the way you have drawn together, supported one another and continuing to do ministry while waiting for the Cabinet to do its work of finding your next pastor.

The church as a whole has changed since the pandemic and all of us who love and participate in the church are a bit stymied about how to move forward as the body of Christ. There is a future out there \that we really can’t picture yet. But what an exciting time for prayer, discernment, dreaming, and figuring out our future as a faith community.
I am so excited to come alongside you as we figure it all out…and adventure in faith as we seek new ways to draw people into a life-giving relationship with Christ. That excitement is fueled by the belief that vital mainline churches are an important part of reaching people of all ages who have been turned off by more extreme expressions of Christianity. I see the Chandler congregation as a vital, service-oriented congregation ready to take on the challenging task of reaching new people for Christ in new ways… and that is my passion as well. I recently hiked Mt. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Tucson area, and was amazed at the sweeping 360 degree views stretching out before me at the top…that, I believe, is a great metaphor for the sweeping vista outside the doors of our church!

So, here is a little bit about your new pastor! Reverend Doctor Candace Lansberry was most recently the Senior Pastor at Desert Skies United Methodist Church, a multi-site church with two campuses and a thriving online community. Prior to that Pastor Candace served as a District Superintendent in the North District of the Desert Southwest Annual Conference (Las Vegas area) and prior to that planted two new United Methodist Churches, one in Mesa/Queen Creek and one in Las Vegas, and served as Associate Pastor for Youth at Paradise Valley United Methodist and the clergy youth cluster coordinator for the Verde Valley and pastor of Jerome UMC. She earned her Master of Divinity Degree at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California where she received the President’s Award for Academic Excellent and her Doctor of Ministry at Drew Theological Seminar in Madison, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in Theater and Cinematic Arts.

Candace is married to Mark, a newly retired United Methodist pastor. They have three daughters and sons-in-law and five grandchildren. She loves to run, hike, cycle, swim, read, lift weights, travel, act, sing and play the guitar! She loves to try new things and meet new people. She has walked the Portuguese Way of the Camino de Santiago, backpacked parts of the John Muir Trail and King’s Canyon in the Sierras and run over 20 marathons. She is looking forward to her first Disney cruise over New Year’s this upcoming year and she and Mark will be doing a one-week Spanish immersion class in Spain this fall. Most of all, she loves the church and its potential for truly transforming the world.

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