As many of you have already heard, Pastor Kara Johnsson was nominated to serve as Vice President for Administration of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and voted into office at the constituency meeting Sunday, September 18. This Sabbath will be the last time she addresses our Oasis family in her role as our pastor. However, her presence will continue to be felt as she continues to serve the cause Christ at the conference level.
The fact that Pastor Kara will be the first woman to serve as Vice President of the Oregon Conference is a special cause for celebration. Equally (if not more importantly) her education and experience have prepared her for effective leadership, as demonstrated by the way she took on the role as our pastor during the pandemic. She was able to support the team that was holding things together logistically, connect with people she could not meet face to face, bring out the best in each of us, and grow our community. The key to her success was an unwavering commitment to the inclusive Gospel of Jesus Christ. Oasis has always been a refreshing place where people are invited to “come as you are” to experience the blessing of God’s Grace, healing and wholeness. Pastor Kara was able to model that acceptance in personal interactions as well as language in her sermons that refused to divide people by race, sex, or any other characteristic in terms of belonging to Christ. That is precisely why--even though it is hard for us to see her go--it is important for her to be in a position that will impact how Christ is represented in Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout the Oregon Conference.
We are thankful for the time she has been able to spend with us and share in our journey. May God continue to bless you in your ministry, Pastor Kara!