My name is Mike Desotell and I am a pastor in the United Methodist Church (UMC). I have been in ministry in one way or another for almost 20 years, spread over several different denominations. I spent the bulk of that time working with youth and young adults. Four years ago I was appointed to St. Matthew’s UMC in Ypsialnti, MI. After two years there I was appointed to another church, Cherry Hill UMC in Canton, MI. So, if you are good at math, you will have deduced that I am the pastor of two churches. It is a challenge at times but I love every minute of it.
My wife, Bri, is also a pastor. She serves at Ypsilanti First UMC (Ypsilanti). She is brilliant and funny and a great mom to our children. We have three children together. Our oldest, Michaela, has just started second grade. She loves learning, dancing, anything Harry Potter, and Bohemian Rhapsody. Our youngest is Braeleigh. She is not in school yet but she is looking forward to it. Recently she started taking ballet lessons. Both of these girls are as brilliant as their mother and, for better or worse, they have my sense of humor.
Our middle child’s name is Carl. Carl was born April 2, 2012, and passed away on November 8, 2013. When he was about 10 months old he became very ill. A trip to the emergency room revealed that he had Leukemia. He spent the next 9 months fighting that dragon with a smile on his face the entire time. Though he is no longer with us physically we try to honor him every day. We keep Minions (from Despicable Me) all over the house in all sorts of art. Avengers paraphernalia is also not hard to spot in our home. He loved both of those movies a whole lot.
Carl will always be a big part of our lives and if you visit my site enough you will probably read a lot more about him because he taught me a whole heck of a lot.
My mom, Grandma Cathy, also lives with us. She moved in when Carl was diagnosed and helped to keep everything running at home for Michaela while Bri and I took care of Carl. After Carl passed away she stayed with us feeling called to be with our family and help us learn how to live again. Grandma Cathy takes care of our childcare needs as well as running the house. Freeing Bri and I to be the best pastors we can be without having to figure out daycare.
I hope that someone (lots of people actually) finds their way here and is encouraged in their faith and life by what they read and see. If no one does, that’s fine, because the writing itself is good for me. If you are here and you like it send me a message and let me know. I’d love to go deeper on any of the topics I write about on this blog.
*I have been asked more than once “What is The Foundry?” Usually it is from people who are not Methodist history nerds. “The Foundry” was an actual castings foundry in London, England that produced armaments for King Charles. John Wesley renovated the building so it could be used as a church in the late 1730’s.
At the time Wesley was doing phenomenal ministry with the poorer people of England. Unfortunately the Anglican Church at the time was a church that catered more for the rich and powerful. The poor were not able to afford to go to church and receive the sacraments. So Wesley began to transform preaching houses and other venues into places that could hold worship services and communion could be celebrated.
“The Foundry” was one of these places. It was built specifically for the poor and middle class and under-educated people who were not welcome in the Anglican Church proper.
Wesley made faith accessible for the everyday person. He believed that God’s love was not merely for the rich and powerful but for everyone. I am calling this site “The Foundry” in that same spirit. I want to make faith accessible for everyone and spread the good news of God’s great love.