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Butler retires from Dysart UMC
June 8, 2018

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After five years in town, Reverend Linda Butler retired from preaching at Dysart United Methodist Church this past weekend with one last sermon and plenty of goodbyes.

Butler was the churches' first female pastor assigned to them through the United Methodist system. According to Butler, a pastor is chosen to match the church's profile rather than a personal choice. She had previously worked in much larger cities, and the move to Dysart was an interesting one in her eyes.

"When I first moved to Dysart, it felt like I was in a neighborhood in a bigger city," Butler said. "You have your local church, local store, and bigger cities have all of those in one neighborhood. It has a lot of volunteerism and creative people."

She served as President of the area Lions Club as well as a member of several religious organization. Butler will continue her passion for serving with Matthew 25, a ministry devoted to helping people in Cedar Rapids recover from 2008 floods. The minstry builds and fixes houses in affected areas, runs a lending library for tools and hope to start an open kitchen with Butler's help.

"Being a pastor is one of the most awesome things," Butler said. "You are involved in people's lives at a very deep level at times of birth, death. I will miss the relationships I've built over these years a great deal."

She is married to Jim Davis, also a member of the clergy and the oldest of seven siblings, five of which live in Connecticut. As she retires from her position in order to serve with Matthew 25, Bulter hopes to see Dysart UMC continue to be blessed by the talents of its members.

"I want to see the creativity and energy this community has invested in Dysart and bring that into the church too," Butler said. "Communities are only as strong as their schools, businesses and churches. I see this church as having a lot of gifts and I hope that continues."

Butler hopes the congregation will welcome their new pastor, Reverend Linda Thompson, but also jokingly points out not all female pastors are named Linda.

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