Patricia Shelly, retired credentialed minister in Western District Conference, died September 4, 2023, at her home in Newton, Kansas, following a 3-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. Patricia served as associate pastor at First Mennonite Church in Denver from 1983 to 1985. In 1985 she was ordained jointly by Western District Conference (former General Conference Mennonite Church) and Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference (former Mennonite Church), as the first woman to be ordained in the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference. Patricia taught Bible and religion at Bethel College from 1985 to 2020, serving as campus minister for nearly half that time, with a leave of absence from 1996 to 2000 to be country director for Mennonite Central Committee in the West Bank and Gaza. As an active member of Bethel College Mennonite Church, Patricia served there on various committees, the church board and as moderator. She was also involved in leadership in the broader Mennonite church, serving as moderator of Western District Conference, as a board member and moderator of Mennonite Church USA, and as a music writer and worship leader whose many gifts continue to enrich the church. Western District Conference joins Patricia’s family, friends, students and colleagues in giving thanks to God for her faithful life and legacy. A memorial service is planned for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 30 at Bethel College Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas. The service will be live streamed at https://youtube.com/live/IX0_1OnzWQs?feature=share.
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