Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky intends to appoint the Rev. Rich Lang to serve on the Pacific Northwest and Greater Northwest Area cabinets as District Superintendent for the new SeaTac Missional District, beginning July 1, 2018. While Lang will be continuing as a superintendent, this newly formed district brings the challenge of getting to know new communities and the opportunity to develop specific initiatives for missional engagement for churches largely urban in context.
Forty local churches and new church starts from the urban core of the current Seattle District will be joined by 16 from the Tacoma District forming this new missional district.
“In addition to his years providing capable, visionary leadership as a local church pastor, Rich Lang has brought a consistent passion for justice work to his ministry as superintendent of the Seattle District,” wrote Bishop Stanovsky. “His deep concern for our social witness and ministry with those on the margins, particularly as it is expressed in urban areas, makes Rich a great fit for this new SeaTac Missional District.”
Rev. Lang has been a pastor for 29 years serving congregations in LaConner, Bay View, Central in Spokane, and Trinity and University Temple in Seattle. He is completing his third year as District Superintendent of the Seattle District.
Lang writes a column for Real Change called Faith, Politics and Culture, and his ministry has been highlighted in the books Natural Saints and Fixing America. He has received the Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award by the Seattle Church Council, Taking the Bull by the Horns by Sustainable Ballard, and the Rauschenbush Center’s Spirit and Justice award. He has been arrested for homeless advocacy, and intentionally pepper sprayed by the Seattle Police Department during the Occupy marches.
Rich is married to Cathy for 34 years, and has two adult sons Michael and Andy both of whom carry on the family values of solidarity with the poor, and constructive disruption for Jesus.
“We are living in a time of great change and innovation,” offered Lang. “It’s really the best of times to partner with God’s Spirit in redesigning and re-igniting United Methodism in our urban context.”