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Reception Sunday for departing pastor

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A card shower and festive cake at Paonia United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 25, honored Pastor Steve Dunkel. Dunkel is returning to his hometown of Creede to start a new career as a online marketing consultant. His goal is to pay off student loans and then complete more classes online to continue as a Christian minister.

Dunkel has served as pastor at Paonia Methodist for the last two years. According to church members his sincerity has been a hallmark of his inspirational sermons.

Although Dunkel has a deep interest in Christianity, his life has not always been in the ministry. Life experiences such as serving in the military, gunsmith, third generation hard rock miner, and father to four children -- Steve, Jessica, Kevin and Stephanie -- influence his perspective. However, his deep interest in Christianity has always brought him back to ministry. He served six Methodist churches -- Elko and Lamiolle, Nev.; Lebanon, Springfield and Greenfield, Mo., and Newberry, Ind. He holds a B.A. in theology/ministerial from Trinity Bible College (1991) and did graduate work at Indiana University.

As pastor, Dunkel has had a deep interest in preserving the church history. Recently, he has displayed historical pictures of the Paonia Church on the front page of the bulletin asking members to identify the year of the photo.

Reverend Don Schlichting of Grand Junction has been appointed as the new pastor at Paonia Methodist Church effective July 1.

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North Fork
Church, Paonia
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