For nearly 40 years the Rev. Ann Sherer-Simpson has been an ordained clergy member serving in such roles as pastor, district superintendent and bishop in the United Methodist Church.
Now that she's retiring as Nebraska bishop, she's planning to carry out the church's ministry in new ways.
Sherer-Simpson, who retires Aug. 31, intends to volunteer in such efforts as prison ministries and homeless shelters.
She plans to participate in a prison ministry called Released and Restored, which helps people paroled from prison find jobs and homes. The program also helps connect parolees with churches. Sherer-Simpson, 69, said the program helps keep people from returning to prison.
Through the volunteer work she wants to help people realize that, "God never leaves us at a dead end.
"God will show you another way forward,'' she said.
Sherer-Simpson has served as Nebraska bishop for eight years.
She said the church, its staff and members have taken major steps toward church goals such as reaching out to Latinos and other minorities.