Our Pastor --- Reverend Dr. Lisa Bandel
Pastor Lisa’s favorite scripture is the Easter story as told in John’s Gospel, chapter 20. 

Her favorite hymns and praise songs are "It is Well with My Soul," "The Summons," "Days of Elijah," and "Better is One Day."  

Favorite Quotations:  
“Everything is possible for one who believes. Still more for one who hopes, even more for one who loves.”  - Brother Lawrence

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”  - Saint Augustine

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

“Do all the good you can, 
  By all the means you can,
  In all the ways you can,
  In all the places you can,
  At all the times you can,
  To all the people you can,
  As long as ever you can.” 
             - John Wesley

Rev. Dr. Lisa Bandel is a 1997 graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary. In 2004 she received her DMIN concentrating in Leadership for the 21st Century Church from Drew Theological School. Pastor Lisa was ordained an elder in 2000 and before coming to Ward’s Chapel UMC she served at Davidsonville UMC, for six years, Lisbon UMC for eight years and at Bethany UMC for five years. Pastor Lisa served the district committee of ordained ministry while at Lisbon UMC. She served the local community as a chaplain for the Howard County Fire Department and was a member of the county Crisis Intervention Stress Management team. She now volunteers as an Anne Arundel county police chaplain. Pastor Lisa was recognized by the readers of the Howard Magazine in their “Best of Howard” poll as clergyperson in 2010 while serving at Lisbon UMC.

Dear Friends and Family of Wards Chapel UMC,
It hardly seems possible that our time in ministry together is coming to an end. It has been an honor to serve at Ward’s Chapel UMC. Three years ago, our lives became connected and linked when I began serving as your pastor. It has been a time that I have felt blessed to experience the love of Christ through so many of you. I have reflected on our time together and will continue to do that over the next several weeks.

Many of you have inspired me through your personal examples of faith in action. I have been privileged to be invited into your lives, sometimes into the inner sacred moments of life where you are most  vulnerable,  moments of change, joy, loss, or hope. You have shared with me your stories and you have spoken of moral victories and deepening faith. You have shared with me some of your deep wounds and heaviest burdens, and you have let me pray for you and with you.

I have been inspired and have grown through these encounters with you. Some of you have been like a Barnabas to me; remember our study from our sermon series on Paul and his ministry? I am truly grateful for the encouragement and grace shared with me. Barnabas accompanied Paul for most of his ministry and encouraged him. I imagine at times Barnabas was a sounding board for Paul and other times he challenged Paul to grow in his understanding of his call.

Faith is about trusting in the Holy Spirit and stepping out when you are not so sure what lay ahead. Having faith that God is there in the unknown. This is one of those times for me; an old Chinese proverb calls times like these “dangerous opportunities” and we really need God with us in those dangerous opportunities. This is a time of transition and change, it is a time for us to grow in love and grace so that our lives will be transformed more into what God hopes for us to be and so that we can be people who transform our little corner of the world into the place God intends it to be.

Over the years, I have learned that struggle, uneasiness, and sometimes pain, can strengthen one’s faith. One of the keys to making it through is to recognize that God is in charge. Another key is to remember that we don’t have to make the journey alone.

There have been many who have guided us along the way. If we are wise we will realize that we don’t have to wrestle all the way through it by ourselves. We’ve been blessed to have those who have gone before us…and were willing to share the journey with us.

I pray that like me, you have grown in your faith by the relationship we have with each other. You have  challenged me, loved me, taught me, and even stressed me out at times, and I am sure you can say the same of me. However, without a doubt, you have shown me an incredible amount of grace, love, and Christian friendship.

I have learned in my 3 years at Wards Chapel that people become like family in a short time and it is because of that reason I really dislike saying good-bye. So I have decided that I will not say good-bye, I will only say till the next time we are together, take care of yourself and those fellow disciples that God puts on the same path with you. I thank you for allowing me to serve among you and with you. Thank you for your love and support, which I hope has drawn out of me the best I have had to offer. And for the times I let you down I am sorry and seek your grace and forgiveness. And I offer to you grace and forgiveness for the times you may of disappointed me or let me down.

Keep me in your prayers, as you will be in mine. May God be with you; May God go with you; now and always. Go with God and Be God’s today and tomorrow and always.

In Christ, 
Pastor Lisa
Reverend Dr. Lisa Bandel's Monthly Message