Welcome Rev Leah McKibben

Photo: Rev Leah

I’m looking forward to joining you on the Omagh Circuit this summer! Let me tell you a bit about myself…

I am currently in my second year of the formation programme for ordained ministry in the Methodist Church in Ireland. I have been doing a Masters in Theology, Ministry and Mission with the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, and I’ll be continuing with these studies over the next couple of years. I am also on placement on the South and Central Belfast Circuit, focussing much of my time on the congregation in Donegall Road Methodist Church.

Before candidating for the ministry, I worked for over ten years as Projects Manager for the Bible Society in Northern Ireland. In that role I visited many churches in Northern Ireland, sharing about the worldwide work of the organisation with women’s groups, midweek meetings and in church services. I also did a lot of work in the office, communicating with other Bible Societies around the world, and putting together fundraising and publicity materials. With this job I got to visit a lot of churches, and while I would have been in the Omagh area, I’m not sure if I have ever had the chance to be in any of the churches on the circuit. I look forward to meeting you all.

I have been a Methodist my whole life. My father, Robin McKibben, is a retired Methodist minister, as are my uncles, Rev. Brian and Rev. John Sweeney. I know my uncle was blessed by his time stationed with you in Omagh, and I’m looking forward to following in his footsteps.
I have an older sister who is married and living in Londonderry – and over the last year I’ve been getting used to being an aunt for the first time! I also have a twin sister who I currently live with in Bangor, Co Down. While I will be very sad to be moving away from her, she assures me that she will be visiting me a lot! I expect you will get to know her as she spends time with me in Omagh. You’ll more than likely see us in coffee shops or out walking… two of our favourite things to do! I’ll be needing you to give me some recommendations!

This last year has been a very strange and difficult time for all of us. I may not have had the experience in college that I had expected, but I have certainly learnt a lot, and have had the opportunity to develop relationships with people in Donegall Road, even if it is in a different and socially distanced way. I hope that by the time I join you on the Omagh Circuit we will be able to meet face to face; that relationships will be established and deepened as we join in fellowship and worship; and that, through prayer and study, we will discover together the journey that God wants to take us on. I hope to be a friend and family member to you all, serving in a way that honours God, and loving in a way that shows his gentle care and attention. As I pray for you as a circuit over the coming months, please remember to pray for me as I say goodbye to one season of my life and move into this new adventure.