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Pastor Tom Fries

 Pastor Tom Fries has been with us for almost 4 years now, and our congregation is growing under his leadership - Praise the Lord!  He grew up in Wayne County, PA on a Dairy Farm, and his first job was a farm hand, then school teacher.  His family includes his son Erik, Erik's wife Paige, his son Andrew, 3 grandchildren.
People he admires include Golda Meir, Jimmy Carter and Richard Rohr. Hobbies include fishing, and his favorite quote is "Work is love made visible".  
Pastor Tom has served previously in Bethlehem and also locally at Hempfield. 

"For I know the plans I have for you.” Declares the Lord.  “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”      

Beginning August 1, 2021 our Pastor Tom Fries will be re-appointed as our Pastor in a part-time role.  This part-time appointment is at the request of the District Superintendent (DS), after Pastor Tom submitted his request to retire from full time appointment. As Tom transitions to retirement, we will continue to be enriched and inspired by his insightful preaching from August 1, 2021 until June 30, 2022. Tom’s interest in staying on in a similar yet changed role allows our Church to have additional time to apply the feedback from our recent Aligned to Thrive strategic planning as we prepare to work with our DS and Bishop to recruit our next Pastor. Any transition can present some challenges and the Church Council and SPRC are committed to guiding this as a FAITHFUL TRANSITION so that we stay faithful to the wisdom of our members, faithful to God’s will for the next chapter for Leola United Methodist and faithfully communicating changes as they unfold. This is our first update and we welcome any questions as they arise. 

The current plans for how we will continue to share and care are outlined here:


Preaching & Worship Leadership:  Pastor Tom will continue to prepare and deliver sermons and work with the worship committee. He will also continue to conduct funerals, weddings and baptisms for LUMC members. Pastor Tom will consecrate elements for remote communion as well.

Pastoral Care Calls and Visits:  The Church Council will be seeking coverage for many of the unplanned member care visits and calls. 

                                                                                                          Committee Meetings:  Pastor Tom will continue to participate in Worship Committee, Church Council and regular staff meetings. Other committees will be lead by current chair lay leaders. The Staff Parish Relations Committee will handle all staffing activities and Pastor Tom will assist as we recruit for the new Pastor.


Church Administration:  Pastor Tom will continue to work with the SPRC to determine coverage for a variety of administrative activities  and at some point volunteers will be recruited to assist with some of them.



Gabriel's Horn, Comments Written by Pastor Tom

  • Comments written by Pastor Tom Fries for the newsletter, Gabriel's Horn, can be accessed below.

  • Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tom, October, 2021 Dear Brothers and Sisters, On October 3 we will celebrate World Communion with Christians all around the world from all kinds of denominations. I am drawn to contemplate the one ...
    Posted Sep 29, 2021, 6:04 PM by Lois Kerchner
  • Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tom, September, 2021 Having Hope When You feel Stepped On! I hope you will enjoy this and be blessed by this as much as I was: The other afternoon, I was walking on ...
    Posted Sep 2, 2021, 11:31 AM by Lois Kerchner
  • Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tom, June, 2021 June 2021 Gabriel's Horn SUMMER FOCUSA couple went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both fell sound asleep. Some hours later, the ...
    Posted Jun 7, 2021, 1:18 PM by Lois Kerchner
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