The following is a letter from Kate Fields, who will join the Belmont UMC staff as Director of Children's Ministry and Discipleship on August 1.

Dear Belmont,

Hi everyone! I’m Kate; I am so overjoyed to get to meet you and get to know y’all amazing folks of Belmont United Methodist!

To the children and students of Belmont UMC: I am really looking forward to getting the chance to get to know you, to learn your stories, and to journey with each of you as we ask good questions and grow as followers of Jesus. I am also so excited about learning how to put feet to our faith in creative ways in both our church and in Nashville! It will be a deep joy to be able to experience God together and watch how you help lead Belmont!

I hear that in the “Dear Belmont” letters, folks talk about what excites them! So, here are a few things I am looking forward to: getting to know parents and families at BUMC, supporting families for faith formation in the home, celebrating teachers, cross-generational ministry, congregational ministry and discipleship: folks doing life together, building community, putting feet to their faith, and accompanying one another through the joys and sorrows of life, spiritual practices, especially in tandem with the liturgical seasons, community organizing, sourced by our faith, and living into a mutual belongingness.

Here’s a bit about my story: I am a native of Old Hickory, TN, and have been living in Milwaukee, WI, for the past three years where I have pastored Underwood Memorial Baptist Church. Underwood is a 174-year-old congregation which was founded on the principles of abolition, serving a critical part of the Underground Railroad in Milwaukee. It has been a joy to serve this congregation, and it is also a tremendous joy to be coming back home to Nashville to serve at Belmont!
I am a biologist-turned-pastor who studied theology through a biological lens at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Prior to seminary, I completed a BS and MS in Biology and conducted biology pedagogy research while working in both veterinary medicine and academic support at the university level. I was ordained at Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, and my ordination is recognized by the American Baptist Churches USA.

I am committed to living in the intersections of justice, theology and faith. I have done peace-building and climate justice work in Appalachia, Fiji, and broader Oceania, and have served on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA where we organized around antiracism work. While in Milwaukee, I have been focused on the urgent crisis of lead in drinking water and have served on the Steering Committee of the Interfaith Earth Network, working to get filters in as many homes as possible.

The things that I find life-giving are many; I love to adventure with my partner, Michelle, and our kids, Wesley (15) and Cate (12). I belong to two retired rescued greyhounds, Toby and Windy, and really enjoy working in greyhound rescue. I seriously dig growing vegetables, promoting the local food movement, kayaking, and listening to folk music. That is to say, I have a reasonable certainty that Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger, Woodie Gutherie, and Joan Baez hung the moon!

I am deeply honored and incredibly excited to be coming to serve at Belmont as the Director of Children’s Ministry and Discipleship! I have long known of Belmont’s witness in Nashville, and I can’t wait to meet each of you!

 
Kate