Meet Our Pastor

Ximena A. Varas, cell (203) 278-1568

Ximena is genuinely committed to equipping the ministry of the saints, training and empowering the laity to become closer to the living God.  She believes that the future of The United Methodist Church depends upon the development of a healthy relationship between the clergy and the laity working together as a team to build Christ’s church and God’s beloved community as inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Ximena became a Methodist because of the denomination’s commitment to a social Gospel; you use your voice, as inspired by God’s Word and the Spirit, to speak for the marginalized and voiceless.  

Ximena became one of the first Certified Lay Ministers (CLM) in the New York Conference in 2009; she currently is Director of Certified Lay Ministry for the Conference. She served as CLM at the First UMC of Shelton from 2009 to 2014. In July 2014 Ximena was appointed at Saint Andrew’s UMC as their pastor, in February 2015 she completed all the requirements from DCOM and became a Licensed Local Pastor.

Ximena serves as Chair of the Connectional Ministries Visioning Table for the Conference, serves as a member of the Bishop’s Task Force, and is the chair of the Young Clergy Debt Assistant program.  

Ximena has been married to Jorge Varas for 25 years and has three children (Moises, 24; Ximenita, 20; Javier, 16).  She emigrated with her husband and Moises from Chile in 1995. She lives in Derby, CT.

Ximena enjoys spending time with her family, reading, knitting.


Ximena’s facts

Local Church Ministry:

  • Invited as a guest to the First UMC of Shelton in 2003 and became a member on February 22, 2004
  • Became Certified Lay Speaker in October 2005
  • Certified Lay Minister at First UMC of Shelton from April 29, 2009, to June 30, 2014
  • Clinical Pastoral Education January to May 2011 and January to May 2012 at Griffin Hospital
  • Hired as per diem chaplain at Griffin Hospital from June 2012 to 2016


Connection with the New York Annual Conference:

  • Chair of the conference Task Force on Immigration from June 2009 – June 2012, continues to be an active member.
  • Natural Church Development coach from 2009 -2012
  • Lay Leader of CT District from 2009 to June 2014
  • Member of CT District Council on Ministries from 2009 to present
  • Member of the CT District Superintendency committee
  • Member of the Conference Board of Laity
  • Conference Director of Certified Lay Ministry from 2012 to present
  • Member of CT District Board of Lay Servant Ministries
  • Member of the Conference National Hispanic and Latino Plan
  • Member of Team Vital (which has rolled out Vital Congregations events throughout the Conference for both clergy and laity).