Our Pastor


Rev. Devon Thomas has officially joined Ascension as of June 1, 2023! 


A web-friendly bio and photo coming soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy this wonderful introduction letter penned on 6/7/2023!


Hello Brothers, Sisters, and Siblings of the Ascension Lutheran Church,


I would like to introduce myself. I am Rev. Devon Thomas, and it is such a privilege to be able to serve you all as your new pastor.


As I get to know more about you as individuals and as a congregation, as well as learn more about your activism and mission here in Vermont, I am more and more certain that God has landed me in the right place for ministry.


Let me share a bit about myself and my ministry so far. I was born in Connecticut, but I grew up in Underhill Vermont. I am also a preacher's kid, of another preacher's kid, and so ministry is deeply rooted in my family. Despite this, I am a latecomer to Church. I started attending at the age of twenty-five, and for much of my life, I did not feel much of a need for church. This changed after college when I found myself in a place of need. It was my local church that took me in and gave me a bit of direction. Though, that's probably a lie because they gave me a truckload of direction and encouraged me to try attending seminary to become a minister!

After Graduating from Union Seminary, I got my start in youth ministry. I interned with a youth program in southern Connecticut and eventually came back to Vermont where I served for two years as an Interim Associate and youth minister at the First Congregational Church in Essex Junction. I am told I am pretty good at this type of ministry, but honestly, youth ministry is a skill that was given to me by folks in the church. I have benefited greatly from the transformative power of a congregation's love, some might even say that type of love is the HOLY SPIRIT!


After serving in Essex I took up my call to serve congregations in Jeffersonville and Bakersfield. I also served a congregation in Waterville and with them I learned what it looks like when a church has to choose between keeping its doors open or keeping a pastor. I then started with the Second Congregational Church in Hyde Park and served with them for two years. So, for the last five years, I have been pastoring three small-town congregations and I honestly would greatly recommend that type of ministry to anyone starting out, not because it is easy, but because it is educational.


I feel that I have seen, firsthand, the struggle congregations in Vermont face to keep their doors open, and they do not always succeed. Right now, the Church in America is going through a tough transition. Our nation and society are different and people need different things. While those of us in the progressive church have shown we understand the need to change the way we think about God, we nonetheless struggle to be relevant in other ways.

For instance, can we expand our worship and music to be meaningful to a young person who has never seen a hymnal before, or can we do a better job of reaching out to folks who are homebound, or are too busy on Sundays to attend a worship service? Are we willing to think of “Church” beyond the traditional functions and practices we have grown up with most of our lives? I honestly think it has been a very long time since a generation of churchgoers has had to do what congregations in Vermont today have done and ask themselves “How do we change to best serve our community?”


As I settle in at Ascension, my feeling is that folks here are ready to see where the Spirit of Christ can lead us. We are a congregation that is well situated not just to have a positive impact on South Burlington, but within the State of Vermont, and I am excited to see what we can do together.


I feel that Vermonters are in need of a different type of Church than what has existed before. They need more than just a progressive message and engaging sermon on Sunday. They need a church that understands their needs. Can we become a church that understands our communities' time commitments and struggles? Will we invite folks to explore their gifts, not just by opening our doors to them, but by opening our worship, activities, and leadership to new people and new ideas? Can we become more than just a church but also a home where people feel they can explore their relationship with God free from judgment, with the assistance of a spiritual family that loves them?


While I do feel that this journey is one the Church in Vermont needs to take, fundamentally I want you all to know that I have committed to serving this congregation and walking the path of Christ with you and not for you at Ascension.


I do not expect people to march to the beat of my drum, but rather, I want us to work together to form a chorus of ideas, understandings, and talents that can make a place where people feel welcomed enough to stick around and find a spiritual home.


Rev. Devon Thomas

September 26, 2023


Ascension Lutheran Church

95 Allen Road

South Burlington, VT 05403







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