Conference Affiliation: California Pacific

Education:
2021, Two Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, Upper Room
2004, Certificate in Faith Based Community Organizing, San Diego State University
2001, M.Div., Claremont School of Theology
1998, B.A., Art History, Boston University

Ministry Experience:
Appointment History:
(Provisional Elder: 2001; Elder in Full Connection: 2004)
Senior Pastor, Westwood UMC, Los Angeles, CA, 2019-present
Lead Pastor, First UMC Redondo Beach, CA – 2012-2019
Associate Pastor, First UMC San Diego, CA – 2001-2012

Connectional Church Experience:
General Conference Delegate, 2008, 2012, 2024
Western Jurisdiction Committee on Finance and Administration, 2022-present
Jurisdictional Conference Delegate & General Conference Reserve Delegate, 2016 & 2019
Cal-Pac Committee on Finance and Administration, 2017-present
Church and Society B Committee Chair, General Conference, 2012
Board of Directors, General Board of Church and Society, 2008-2016
Chair, Order of Elders, Cal-Pac AC, 2008-2016
Western Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy, 2008-2012
SC Jurisdictional Conference Delegate and General Conference Reserve (Nebraska), 2000

Community and Ecumenical Involvement:
Communication Coordinator, Grain Place Foundation, Marquette, Nebraska, 2017-2023
Spiritual Leader, Strength for the Journey Retreat, San Diego, 2001-2008
Weekly Bible Study Leader, San Diego Rescue Mission, Women’s Shelter, 2003-2012
Faith and Order Plenary, World Council of Churches, 2009
Faith and Order Commission, National Council of Churches of Christ USA, 2000-2004
World Council of Churches Assembly Delegate, 1998

Age/Number of Quadrennia Eligible to Serve: 6


What would you identify as the top 5 essential leadership qualities for a bishop in the West?
I think a bishop ought to be relational, communicate clearly, and be strategic, trusting, and humble.

Skill in building relationships is critical for leadership in this moment, when leaders need to earn the trust of the diverse people in their Conferences. The great gifts of our diversities can only be received by the church if we are in relationship with each other.

We need leaders who communicate clearly, and frequently, and in multiple ways. Following on the disconnection many people experienced during the pandemic, and amid significant change in our denomination, information helps calm anxieties and convey hope. Leaders who can help interpret what we are experiencing through a lens of our grace-filled Gospel will be helpful.

Strategic thinking will help in a season of change and challenge–as we figure out new ways of doing things, we need leaders who can see with a longer view, and help organize the church for what we are becoming through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Leaders who are trusting will be of great value. Trust helps build teams that are able to use the diverse perspectives and skills they include. Trust allows us makes use of the incredible capacity that already exists in our church, and communicates deep faith that God is at work in us.

Finally, I see humility as a critical need for our Bishops. We need leaders who recognize that the most important work of the church is accomplished not because of any individual’s capability, but because of the Holy Spirit’s goodness and the richness of the community. Leaders need spiritual grounding that enables them to own their limitations.

Describe an impactful experience you have had with a bishop.
I continue to be inspired by the ways that Bishop Karen Oliveto persistently preaches the Gospel, speaking not only to people inside the institutional church, but also to those watching from outside. Even as some in our denomination pursued complaints that called her episcopal identity into question, she persisted in proclaiming grace to LGBTQ+ siblings and the whole church, with a hopeful and open-hearted love. For example, in a press conference after Judicial Council hearings that followed her election and consecration, I remember her speaking with such clarity, conviction, determination, and grace. She embodied fearless inclusion and bold love. This is the sort of leadership we need for the needs of the present and the future.


Endorsement (First Endorsement)

Molly Vetter knows how to have fun. She has a charming sense of humor, is thoughtful, helpful, and is a good friend and colleague. She also knows how to get things done. With her gifts and graces she leads the UMC as a visionary who speaks to both laity and clergy, reminding us that there is a greater mission for our church. On all levels of the church, she uses her leadership skills to speak to the masses and inspires a call to service.

I have seen Molly’s growth in ministry and relationship in the Cal-Pac Conference over the past 16 years. She is a well-respected clergy who thinks creatively and deeply understands the UM system. From San Diego to Redondo Beach to Westwood UMCs, Rev. Vetter has engaged and connected generations of Methodists. She has served as a delegate for many quadrennia and was a beloved Board member on the General Board of Church & Society. Her most recent accomplishment has been the successful negotiation and move of the Claremont School of Theology to the Westwood UMC campus. This could not have happened without her leadership.

It is an honor and a blessing to lift up my sister in Christ as an Episcopal Candidate.

Rev. Allison K. Mark
Faith UMC, Torrance, CA
Cal-Pac Annual Conference, Head of Delegation


Endorsement (Second Endorsement)

If you are looking for a Bishop who is a loving, centered, non-anxious presence, pastoral and caring, and fun, look no further than Molly. She is a deep and contemplative theologian, a passionate social justice champion, and a gifted organizer. She is a healing and reconciling catalyst who has guided the United Methodist Church into a new era with vision and grace and has the gifts and commitment to carry it forward.

Molly’s leadership and dedication to removing the harmful language and as co-leader of ResistHarm highlight her commitment to justice and inclusion. Her ability to communicate with the diverse members of our church and her unwavering support for the LGBTQIA+ community, and other marginalized groups make her an ideal candidate for Bishop.

Having experienced Molly’s leadership firsthand, I can attest to her extraordinary gifts to build diverse coalitions and speak truth in love. She has a proven track record of effecting meaningful change and fostering a sense of belovedness in others.

As a lay person, I have always wanted Molly to be my pastor (and she really is). She has changed my life and given me a greater sense of my God-given belovedness.

-Pat Luna, SEJ Layperson


Endorsement (Third Endorsement)

I am delighted to endorse Rev. Molly Vetter for the episcopacy because she is on fire for the gospel! Molly believes fervently in the Good News of Jesus Christ for all people. Molly witnesses to God’s love and transforming grace through faithful action and collaboration.

Through teamwork in groups such as Resist Harm, Molly championed the removal of Disciplinary language that actively harmed LGBTQIA+ people. As a heterosexual, cisgender ally, her work was rooted in the prayer of God’s kindom on earth and inspired by the ministry of LGBTQIA+ Christians.

Molly is a visionary leader with administrative gifts. She collaborated with the board of Claremont School of Theology, as they relocated to Westwood UMC, where Molly is the senior pastor.

Molly’s recent ministry has highlighted purposeful storytelling. This focus on personal stories to build relationships and create change pairs with Molly’s non-anxious leadership. I believe Molly could lead the people of an annual conference(s) into clearer mission and greater holiness of relationship with one another and with God.

Grace and peace,
Katharine H. Henry
she/her
Lay Delegate to the WJC, Cal-Pac
Secretary, WJ LGBTQIA+ Ministries
Member, Cal-Pac Episcopacy Committee
Young Adult

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