Melinda Trotti, director of the Florida Annual Conference Justice and Outreach Ministries of the Florida Annual Conference, has resigned and will be moving to the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Trotti has accepted a position managing a camp with the Camping Ministry and Operations there, and she will also engage in program development for the conference’s day camp ministry.
Trotti will be joining her husband, the Rev. David Berkey, former executive director of the Florida United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries, who resigned his post Jan. 1. He now serves as the general manager of Camping Ministry and Operations of the California-Pacific Conference.
Trotti has a rich history as a member of the Florida Conference staff. When she arrived in the summer of 2005 she was the interim director of the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park. She also has led programming for camps and retreat ministries among other conference positions.
Trotti’s latest position with outreach ministries was to challenge and confront churches to live the gospel they are called to proclaim through acts of love and grace to the least and the lost in their neighborhoods. She assisted many local congregations as they implemented their own community-based outreach ministries.
Trotti said she has enjoyed being a part of the process in each position she held, but the camp and retreat ministries will hold a special place in her heart.
“When we started Grandparents and Me Camp, I remember grandparents coming with little kids. Today those grandparents are coming with the same children—now in middle school—and the kids still want to come,” Trotti said. “That’s special.”
Another special memory for Trotti includes a day camp implemented at the Warren W. Willis center, which served low-income children in the Fruitland Park, Lady Lake, Leesburg and Villages locations. The week-long camp was ideal for school-age children, as well as children who are beyond the age of day care but aren’t quite ready to be home alone.
Another area where Trotti facilitated growth was in the formation of the Creation Care Ministry. Its mission is to assist congregations in fulfilling and understanding the Christian commitment in caring for God’s creation and to respond to critical stresses on the environment by linking faith with actions that promote stewardship of God’s creation.
Trotti said the benefit of having a conference staff member devote time to these ministry areas is that clergy and laity who share similar passions may be brought together to combine their efforts. People who thought they were alone in their efforts may find help and support from others who are doing the same things in different parts of the conference.
Whether it’s supporting the Creation Care Ministry, Justice and Outreach Ministry or another ministry area, Trotti said the conference is blessed to have caring and devoted members.
“There are people in the conference who take their call seriously; it could be clergy or laity,” Trotti said. “They are the hearts and hands of Christ in this world….they are doing amazing things, whether it’s making sure the children of migrant workers have food or cleaning up a lake. I hope they keep moving forward. I feel amazingly blessed to have worked and served with so many of these incredible people. They will continue to inspire me.”