Assisting Elder

 

Assisting Elder

Rev. Karen W. Atanasoff
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Bio

Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, Karen lived with her Dad and Mom, 3 brothers and 2 sisters.  
 
Karen attended St. Cloud University and received a B.S. degree in Recreation with an Outdoor Education 
 
emphasis. After College, she worked for 5 years at Minneapolis Camp Fire (formally Campfire Girls) where 
 
she directed and developed the camping and outdoor education programs, supervised summer and 
 
volunteer staff and oversaw the camp properties. 
 
 
Karen attended and was active in Mizpah United Church of Christ in Hopkins, MN where she felt a 
 
call into ordained ministry and chose to go to Lancaster Seminary. There she met a fine man named 
 
Stevan Atanasoff. She took United Methodist Doctrine & Polity so that she could better understand the 
 
system in which her husband would be involved. Through that experience, she felt a draw to 
 
connectionalism, Wesley’s understanding of grace and the call to Personal and Social Holiness that the 
 
United Methodist Church emphasized. With the encouragement of her Doctrine and Polity professor, Rev. 
 
Dr. Paul Stambach, she chose to join the United Methodist Church. 
 
 
Karen’s first appointment was working with Stevan in the Halfmoon Charge in State College 
 
District. While they were appointed to the Halfmoon Charge their son, Andrew, was born (he is now 29 and 
 
is serving in the Air Force. He and his wife Kate, who is also in the Air Force, currently have a home in 
 
Severn, Maryland near Fort Meade). Karen was then appointed to the Julian - Martha Charge. There she 
 
served Martha, Julian, and Faith Churches for 9 years. During her tenure Julian and Faith merged to 
 
become Christ Julian. While she was serving there their daughter, Amber, was born. (Amber is now 26, and 
 
lives in Camp Hill with her husband Matt Fuller). The next change of appointment was to the Howard area 
 
where she served to the Axemann-Weaver Charge now known as New Hope.. After that time, Stevan and 
 
Karen were appointed to the Lewisburg District and served Town Hill. From Lewisburg, she was appointed 
 
to the Harrisburg District where she served an appointment at First Church in Millersburg and then as the 
 
Pastor of Administration at First Church in Hershey. Before coming back to the Harrisburg District, she 
 
served at Pine Street in Williamsport District.
 
 
Karen enjoys family, friends, reading, movies, plays, singing, travel, missions. She is looking 
 
forward to being in ministry with District Superintendent Barry Robinson and the Harrisburg District in her 
 
new role as Assisting Elder and with the people of Rockville United Methodist Church! Together, let us 
 
serve our Lord.
 
 

 
Background:
 
 
 Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota (lived 1 year in Seneca Falls, NY)
 
 Dad & Mom, 3 brothers and 2 sisters
 
Home Church, Mizpah United Church of Christ
 
 Recommending Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist - Harrisburg
 
 
Family:
 
 
Steve – Ordained Elder serving Geyers United Methodist
 
 Andrew  - 29 years old, married to Kate both serving in the United States Air Force 
 
(Andrew is serving at the Pentagon until Fall, Kate is at Fort Meade in Maryland until the 
 
Fall. )
 
 Amber – will be 26 years old (April 4th)  Married in August to Matt Fuller. She is 
 
working at a Cloud company and lives in Camp Hill
 
ď‚·Sox & Fido – (Sox is Stevan’s cat / Fido is Amber’s cat – now adopted by Karen)
 
 
Education & Employment:
 
 
Bachelor of Science Recreation from St. Cloud University
 
 Director of Camping and Outdoor Education for Minneapolis Camp Fire
 
 Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary
 
 Ordained Deacon 1985 / Ordained Elder 1988
 
 
Appointments:
 
 
 Half Moon Charge (State College) – 1986-87
 
 Julian-Martha Charge (State College) – 1987-1996
 
 Axemann-Weaver Charge (State College) 1996 – 2001
 
 Town Hill (Lewisburg) 2001-2006
 
 First Church Millersburg (Harrisburg) 2006 – 2009
 
 First Church Hershey (Harrisburg) 2009 – 2012
 
 Pine Street (Williamsport) 2012 - current
 
 
Mission Work:
 
 
Local and district flood relief
 
Middlefork, Kentucky
 
Red Bird, Kentucky
 
Henderson, Kentucky
 
Pee Dee, North Carolina
 
 Uruguay
 
Ukraine
 
 Philippines
 
 
District & Conference Work: 
 
 
Moving Coordinator for the State College District 
 
 District Committees on Ordained Ministry (State College & Lewisburg)
 
 Committee to develop guidelines for clergy sexual ethics
 
 Member of clergy effectiveness intervention team 
 
 Joint Review Committee 
 
Camp Dean at Mount Asbury
 
 Chair and committee member of Equitable Compensations 
 
 Order of Elders Steering Committee
 
 Candidate Mentor (current)
 
 Assistant to the Secretary of Annual Conference (current)
 
 Board of Ordained Ministry (currently the secretary of the board.) 
 
 Board Member for Albright Care Services (current) 
 
 
Annual Conference has been varied. Some of the areas in which she’s served are:
 

 Moving Coordinator for the State College District 

District Committees on Ordained Ministry (State College & Lewisburg)

 Committee to develop guidelines for clergy sexual ethics

 Member of clergy effectiveness intervention team 

 Joint Review Committee

 Chi-Rho Singers

 Camp Dean at Mount Asbury

 Chair and committee member of Equitable Compensations 

 Order of Elders Steering Committee

 Candidate Mentor (current)

 In charge of Worship for the Annual Bishop’s Retreat 

 Assistant to the Secretary of Annual Conference (current)

 Board of Ordained Ministry (currently the secretary of the board.) 

 
 Pastor Karen enjoys family, friends, reading, movies, plays, singing, and is looking forward with 
excitement to being in ministry with the people of Rockville! Together, let us serve our Lord.