Grant United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor
By Jan Rahn
Pastor Nora and husband Dave Mendyk are busy getting settled and getting acclimated to their new community of Grant.
Making new friends and becoming familiar with the Grant United Methodist Church has kept the Mendyks occupied since their recent arrival to replace former Pastor Rich Savage whose wife Joy led the Big Springs/Brule congregation.
Pastor Nora comes to Grant UMC from northeast Nebraska. She served for five years in West Point at the Trinity United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ, along with the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Uehling.
Dave will be involved in promoting the United Methodist Men and serving through Lay Speaking Ministries.
“He loves to sing,” said Pastor Nora. His talent will be a delightful addition to the church in Grant. Dave is retired from factory work in the Grand Island area after 32 years.
The Mendyks have been married for eight years and have a blended family with five young adult daughters. Following a long battle with cancer, Pastor Nora’s first husband Cal, also in ministry, died in 1999.
She was born in Falfurrias, Texas but became a Nebraskan at the age of two when her family moved to the Sand Hills of Crookston. Much of her elementary schooling was spent in Kearney where she also graduated from high school and attended Kearney State College for two years before transferring to Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa.
Pastor Nora attended Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Ill., and later felt called to pastoral ministry after serving as a Christian education director in Illinois and Iowa churches. She and her late husband were associate pastors in Dixon, Ill., and Webster City, Iowa. He became a student pastor at Paxton and attended seminary in Denver while Pastor Nora was a full-time mother during that time.
Upon moving to Morrill, she became a student pastor at Henry and Lyman UMC for two years, but health problems forced her to back away from seminary, and following a few odd jobs, she returned to college to pursue a teaching certificate.
While teaching elementary for the next 14 years she also earned a masters degree. This was also during the time her late husband was in ministry and battling cancer.
A call back into the ministry sent Pastor Nora to Giltner and Phillips United Methodist Churches where she served from 2000-05 and where she met and married Dave in 2003.
The family moved to Omaha where she served as an associate pastor at St. Paul UMC from 2005-07, prior to her appointments in West Point and Uehling.
Pastor Nora became an elder of Nebraska UMC in 2008 after completion of seminary work. She and Dave have both experienced Walk to Emmaus and Marriage Encounter.
“Like many people, my journey has had several twists and turns,” she said. “I am grateful that God has brought us together for “such a time as this”—together we can make a difference for God’s kingdom in His ‘mission field.’”
The Mendyks warmly welcome members of the community for a visit either at church or in their home.