|"Write the vision clearly on the tablets, that one may read it on the run." — Habakkuk|
The July Vision was produced before the start of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference on July 18. A list of episcopacy candidates and the NYAC delegation is on Page 5. For daily coverage from Charleston, W.Va., check out the NEJ page on the conference Web site>>, our Facebook page>>, and Twitter hashtag #nej12.
Below are excerpts from the 2012 team’s reports:
A small but mighty band of loving servants from Connecticut (Rachel Bird, Rev. Bill Pfohl, and Cindy Svensen), New York (Dennis Angle and Chris Freeman), Pennsylvania (Diane Hetrick, Kathy Silva, Ginny Stevenson, and Mary Thrush), New Hampshire (John Borchert and Rod Wendt), and even Minnesota (Anders Svensen), traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia, in late June. For three of us, this is our first Bolivia Volunteers in Mission experience.
Sunday Evening, June 24
Summary: we arrived Friday safely and without incident; Saturday got right to work on construction and Vacation Bible School preparation; Sunday worshipped in three churches; and are gelling into an amazing Team!
The welcome at the airport by more than 30 members of the Cochabamba Methodist churches was classic amigo Boliviano Metodiste—abrazos and shrieks of joy, singing, smiles of recognition, and the familiar laughter of friends reunited.
Saturday, June 23 we began work in earnest—construction at Iglesia Luz de Vida and preparing to teach Vacation Bible School at both Iglesia Luz de Vida (Light of Life) and Iglesia Piedra Viva (Living Stones). Iglesia Piedra Viva was the first church we helped build “from the ground up,” and Iglesia Luz de Vida is the second “ground up” church. Both are near and dear to the Bolivia VIMers who have worked on them since 2004.
At Luz de Vida, work by us and other teams to create a new church building has proceeded with amazing speed. When the 2011 team departed, Luz de Vida was a 2-story skeleton with no enclosed rooms. When we arrived Saturday, it was fully-enclosed with a functional first-floor sanctuary, and three second-floor rooms, fully plastered, in need of painting. Daniel Flores, Luz de Vida Pastor AND Architect AND our construction mentor, showed us what he needed done and we quickly got busy sanding plaster and woodwork, and then priming plaster and painting woodwork.
Sunday, June 24, our “day of rest”, was spent at three—count ’em, three—worship services: Iglesia Piedra Viva (8:30 a.m.), Iglesia Emanuel adjacent to the guest house (10:30 a.m.) and Iglesia Luz de Vida (6 p.m.). We reconnected with Pastor Gustavo Loza and Methodist World Peace Medal recipient Casimira at Piedra Vida, and delivered more than $8,000 in Sewn Goods money to the sewing co-op women at Iglesia Emanuel.
Wednesday, June 27
Summary: the construction at Iglesia Luz de Vida and the Vacation Bible School at both Iglesia Luz de Vida and Iglesia Piedra Viva are off and running with great success. We partied at Wilson and Nora Boots’ lovely home Monday night. We barely noticed the two minor earthquakes in our vicinity early Tuesday morning, but Cindy Svensen’s birthday celebration that day rocked the team.
The construction work at Luz de Vida is focused on painting three upstairs rooms that will serve as youth activity and education space. We began by sanding the plaster walls and then applying a watery thin primer. Indeed, maybe it was just water! Sometimes we thought there was more on us than the walls!
A highlight was the arrival of about eight young neighborhood boys on Monday afternoon, curious as to what we were doing, One thing led to another, and before long we had “helpers” getting more beige paint on themselves than on the wall, but much laughter all around. Building relationships is why we are here!
Meanwhile, Valerio, the young Bolivian master mason, was laying brick for the adjacent parsonage, and was helped by Pastor Bill and Anders. In fact, Anders may be able to apply for a journeyman mason’s certificate when he returns based on his skill in laying brick!
Vacation Bible School has been held each afternoon in the sanctuary. Ginny, Dianne, and Cindy have been in the lead, supported by interpreter Ruth, with “guest appearances” by Bill, John, and Anders.
Monday Evening, July 2
Summary: The construction project at Iglesia Luz de Vida was finished in great shape, with four rooms beautifully painted, many bricks laid and many more stacked for continuing work. The Vacation Bible Schools at Iglesia Luz de Vida and Iglesia Pedra Viva finished last Friday with the traditional dessert celebration. We connected with our friends at the sewing co-ops at both Iglesia Emanuel and Iglesia Luz de Vida. We shopped on Saturday and worshipped Sunday at both Iglesia El Salvador (downtown) and Iglesia Luz de Vida where we helped christen the communion set gift we had brought and had our farewell party. Tomorrow we leave for Salar de Uyuni, a huge salt flat at 12,500 feet, underneath which is the largest lithium deposit in the world.
The construction team has become a well-oiled machine, with each of us finding the task we like best. Dennis, Cindy, and Dianne have been trim painters; John and Rod, wall and ceiling rollers; Anders has laid many, many bricks, and Big Boss Bill has supervised as well as laying lots of brick and doing some of most jobs.
The result is three classrooms and a hallway that have been fully painted; many levels of brick laid for the new parsonage; and three neat stacks of bricks for Bolivian mason Valerio to continue work after we leave.
At both Iglesia Luz de Vida and Iglesia Piedra Viva, the Vacation Bible School programs were a smashing success. The “Fruits of the Spirit” theme was well received, and the students left class each afternoon with prized craft projects in hand. Piedra Viva was the larger of the two, with a peak of 38 students. Highlights of the week occurred when the students taught the VIMers “Jesus Loves Me” in Spanish, in return for learning it in English; and making real butter in a churn as an exercise in patience, one of the “Fruits of the Spirit.”
A day of shopping Saturday was followed by wonderful worship at both Iglesia El Salvador (downtown) Sunday morning and Iglesia Luz de Vida Sunday night. The latter was very special as the communion set given by the VIM team was dedicated. Rev. Bill Pfohl preached and then joined Pastor Daniel Flores to serve communion to more than 50 Bolivian members and visiting VIMers. Following the service, we joined our Bolivian friends in a low-key party to celebrate our friendships and the work we have accomplished together. It was a very powerful moment for all of us, with abrazos and tears all around.
Tonight is one of mixed emotions. On the one hand, we feel really good about our work and a very successful connection and re-connection with our Bolivian friends from the past decade of mission teams in Cochabamba. And we are excited about our upcoming adventure to the salt flats of the Alto Plano, visiting yet another part of this amazing country. But we are saddened that, like this time every year, our connection with our amigos y amigas en Cochabamba is coming to an end.
Thursday, July 5
Summary: Our exciting 3-day excursion to the huge salt flats of Uyuni—the world’s largest—was an extraordinary experience. Even though it took a full day to get there and a full day to get back, it was well worth it. Staying in a hotel totally constructed of salt at the edge of the flats added to the adventure. Tonight we are back in Cochabamba, packing for our departure for home—to Santa Cruz on Friday and then on to the United States on Saturday.
Tuesday we traveled from Cochabamba to Uyuni, going from 8,200 feet in Cochabamba over a pass at 14,500 feet and then onto Uyuni at 12,000 feet. The last half of the trip required 4four-by-four vehicles to navigate the bumpy dirt roads.
Wednesday morning we headed for the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats). The Salar is 4,084 square miles of solid salt, up to 70 feet thick, varying in surface altitude by less than a yard over that area. The white is so intense that it is almost blinding without dark sunglasses. Beneath the salt, in a briny liquid, is an estimated 50–70 percent of the world’s lithium reserve that many companies around the world would love to get their hands on…
We watched salt being “harvested” by hand by locals; had a picnic on the shores of an island in the middle of the Salar (a 40-minute drive across the salt); and drove halfway up the side of extinct Tunupa Volcano to see the Salar from a height of about 14,000 feet.
After visiting the Salar, we stayed in the Hotel Cristal Samana, at the edge of the Salar, totally constructed of salt. Loose salt formed the floor, while salt sculptures adorned the hallways.
Tonight we are tired from our adventure to the Salar de Uyuni, but our eyes and thoughts are turning toward home as we prepare for our departure tomorrow to Santa Cruz and Saturday on to the United States.
|Underwood, Varas Take on New Roles|
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you — wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your Savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10 Common English Bible)
Whatever the season, whatever the statistics, whatever the headlines, the news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is always good news! Jesus’ power to save us, to heal us when we get shattered and broken, to give us a hopeful, flourishing future is a cause for celebration. Let us bear testimony to that hope within, and by the Spirit’s enabling power, let us join with those today who continue to tell the wonderful story of God’s power to save and transform lives.
I am thrilled to share great news of another dimension with you. We have an associate lay leader! He is Mitch Underwood. Underwood is a lifelong Methodist. He and his family reside in Plainville, Conn., where they attend the local United Methodist Church. He has two children, Laurel, who a high school senior, and Woody (Mitch III), a physics doctoral student at Yale.
Underwood and his wife of 31 years, Susan, are very active in their local church. Susan is on several committees and serves as chairperson of the worship committee. Mitch is one of the lay delegates to annual conference, and therefore serves on nearly every committee as well as being chairperson for the SPRC.
On the district level, Underwood has served as a certified lay speaker for nearly 25 years, 20 of those years as a member of the District Committee on Lay Speaking Ministries. He was the chairperson of that committee for seven years. Currently, he is co-district lay leader for the Connecticut District.
Outside of church, Underwood teaches human anatomy and physiology at Naugatuck Valley Community College. He has served as a scout master, venture crew advisor, and district commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America. He is currently a member of the Plainville Coalition for Positive Youth Development. Underwood has been a consultant for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Fire Administration.
Underwood has taken on this new role with gusto, already attending meetings, and joining in planning of events for laity. Many who attended annual conference have received the lovely photographs he took and has made available. We will all benefit from having multi-gifted Underwood, who so passionately and lovingly shares the bountiful gifts with which God has blessed him.
Another first for our conference is a Director of Certified Lay Ministry in the person of Ximena Varas. Varas was certified as a lay minister in April 2009 in the Connecticut District, and has been serving as a certified lay minister (CLM) at First UMC of Shelton, under the supervision of Rev. Heather Sinclair.
Varas has a great passion for this ministry as she believes God has called us all to serve where we are planted. Varas lives in Derby, Conn., with husband, Jorge, and children, Moises, Ximena and Javier. Varas also works as a chaplain at Griffin Hospital.
Our hope and prayer is to increase certified lay ministries within our conference with Varas serving as the “to go” person to help candidates navigate the process. As CLM conference director, she will work with the Board of Ministry and Laity Team to coordinate roles in relation to CLMs, keep accurate records of CLMS, work with trainers to
organize training events and provide ongoing information and contact with all CLMs on our conference. Click here for more information about this ministry>> Or contact Varas at: ximenavaras@
Lay Servant Ministry—the new name for Lay Speaking Ministries—will continue under the leadership of Peter O’Neill, who wrote and shared the document, “The Rights and Responsibilities of Laity.” In the coming year, using this document, we will establish a network of lay advocates who will work with laity to increase the level of commitment and the quality of personal discipleship in the New York Annual Conference.
We welcome the following members to the Board of Laity:
Ralph Eddy: Associate district lay leader, Catskill Hudson
Sam Newman: Associate district lay leader, LI East
Sarah Capers and Marie Davis: Associate district lay leaders, LI West
Marie Bell: Associate district lay leader, New York /Connecticut
William Listwan: At-large layperson, Connecticut
Nathan Badore: Youth representative, Connecticut
Joshua Wolfinger: Young adult representative, LI East
Gregory Holder: Conference scouting coordinator
Stella Law: Asian representative
In response to the expressed need for conference laity to witness God’s grace together through worship, to be informed on matters that relate to our shared ministry, and to plan more effectively for the year ahead, our First Laity Convocation is planned for Sat., October 20, at the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. Please save the date! We will have a dynamic speaker as well as inspiring and informative workshops. More information will be forthcoming.
8/16: “Extend Health” Workshop
8/18: UMW Ubuntu Day
9/7–8: Learning Center Open House
9/22: Advanced Lay Speakers Class
9/28–30: “Ages and Stages” Retreat
9/29: Clergy Spouses Day Apart
10/9–10: Anti-Racism Training
10/20: Youth in Mission Day
10/20: First Laity Convocation
10/27: UMW Annual Meeting
10/29–11/2: Pastor’s Clinic
|NEJ Conference: 4 Candidates for Episcopacy|
Four clergy members from the conference have been endorsed as candidates for the episcopacy. Adrienne Brewington, Edward Horne and Timothy Riss were selected during the June gathering at Hofstra University. Maxine Nixon, pastor of Fenimore Street UMC, has been endorsed by Black Methodists for Church Renewal.
The four join 15 other candidates from the jurisdiction; three new bishops will be elected this year. Bishop Jeremiah J. Park, who has already served the NYAC for eight years, is seeking to be accorded another four years here.
The NYAC delegation includes:
Clergy: William S. Shillady, Adrienne Brewington, Timothy J. Riss, Constance Y. Pak, Noel N. Chin, Edward C. Horne, Kun Sam Cho, Kenneth J. Kieffer, Evelyn R. McDonald, and Luisa C. Martinez.
Clergy Reserves: David D. Henry, Judith A. Stevens, and Stephen P. Bauman.
Lay: Frederick K.Brewington, Jorge A. Lockward, Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt, Marva D. Usher-Kerr, Rashid I. Warner, Roena Littlejohn, Kevin M. Nelson Natassia S. Velez, Chan Kyong Gillham, and Robert G. Hunsinger.
Lay Reserves: Maria C.Maine, Darlene M. DiDomineck, and Richard Nicodemus.
In addition to the delegates named above, the following people have been included in the pool of candidates for election to jurisdictional boards and committees: Annette Griffith, Joyce Palevitz, Melodye Merola, Jason Dobney, Rev. Vicki Flippen, Rev. Jessica Anschutz, Rev. Ian Straker, Dr. Traci West, Rev. Steve Phillips, Rev. Jeff Wells, Rev. Kristina Hansen, Rev. Bill Pfohl, Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Rev. Betsy Ott, Rev. Javier Viera, and Rev. Rick Hanse.
|Godâ€™s Grace Helps Us More Than Survive|
By Rev. Jim Stinson
“A burden of these years is the temptation to cling to the times and things behind us rather than move to the liberating moments ahead.
A blessing of these years is the invitation to go light-footed into the here and now—because we spend far too much of life preparing for the future rather than enjoying the present.”
Joan Chittister, in her book, “The Gift of Years—Growing Older Gracefully,” offers this insight. Our older years are wasted if we keep looking backward, but fulfilling if we are open to new areas of growth, if we embrace the moment, and make life all we can. A tall order for many as they age because of physical, mental and other limitations. Yet her observation holds up under scrutiny.
I know so many older adults who accept what is happening to their bodies and minds gracefully and create a new way of living for themselves, sharing with others, making new friends, and trying new things. These people seem to have a wisdom nurtured through the years that serves as a living example of ‘The Gift of Years.’
It is the same wisdom found in a delightful movie about growing older, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” Briefly, the movie is about six older English citizens who relocate, for various reasons, to an exotic hotel in India for the later years. All arrive the same day to discover the same reality: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” does not live up to their expectations.
Essentially, it is a dump, poorly managed and in a crowded noisy city. Nothing, not even the food, is familiar. They are faced with a choice. What to do about their disappointment and fear, being ‘stuck’ in a strange land? Quite a metaphor for aging!
Needless to say, they all respond differently, but eventually they discover the beauty, the thrill, and the purpose of being in this strange new land. Eventually they all adapt, contribute to the rebirth of the hotel and contribute to their own rebirth. The wisdom is expressed a number of times when one of the characters tells another, “Everything will be all right in
Believing that to be true, one by one, the characters truly emerge from the cocoon of aging as beautiful, fully engaged people, like butterflies on the wing to one new adventure after another.
These characters remind us of what our faith teaches. With God the only real ending is a good ending. We need to be witnessing to this truth as we go about ministry with and to older adults. We need to be speaking the truth to those in their later years—the truth that says, limitations, frailty, and sickness may be a part of aging, but so is the possibility of learning and growing, discovering new ways of serving, and appreciating every moment of life. The truth that says advanced age may provide more time for memories, but it is also a God-given phase, for which grace is available to do more than simply survive.
East Meadow Starts Pet Pantry
The East Meadow UMC has started a pet food pantry as its “Change the World” project. They will distribute pet food and supplies to families that find themselves faced with the difficult choice of having to give up their pets
Sure, You Can Borrow the Mosquito!
The great mosquito and Transformer costumes used during the Saturday morning session at annual conference are available to borrow from the Learning Center. Use them to increase the buzz about your fundraising efforts to stamp out malaria. Contact Lynda Gomi in the NYAC Learning Center at LGomi@nyac.com.
CT Challenge To Help Prattsville
Rev. Paul Hibbard of Watertown UMC and Rev. Craig Fitzsimmons of Clinton UMC have challenged the churches of the Connecticut District to “join together in helping our brothers and sisters in Prattsville (N.Y.) restore their place of worship.”
In a letter to the district, Hibbard noted that
The town of Prattsville, and the United Methodist Church and parsonage there were devastated by the floodwaters that accompanied Hurricane Irene. While much has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before the church is fully functioning and the parsonage is inhabitable.
The pastors are coordinating with Charlie Gockel,
Volunteer teams and donations are also being
By Rev. Dr. Penny L. Gadzini
“So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.”
—1 Thessalonians 2:8
One Sunday during the week of Easter, I returned to the congregation where I often worshiped in Rockland County. This is a congregation that was once dying; however the last six years have seen significant growth. Some months ago one of the members felt her heart ache as she heard the story of the daughter of her church friend.
She began to pray for the young woman, who suffered from some sort of neurological disorder. As she prayed, she felt called by the Holy Spirit to start a prayer group in the church. Five people began to gather regularly to pray for the young woman as well as others whose needs came to their attention. The pastor, as well as small groups, visited the young woman to sing hymns, share scripture and faith stories, to anoint and to pray. I was one of the ones who had the privilege to visit and pray.
I was moved to tears when we sang a resurrection hymn, as I knew that the young woman who we visited and prayed with was there worshiping with us, and not only her, but two others we had prayed through life and death struggles as well. My heart and soul were filled with gratitude for the ways our risen Lord touches, heals and saves lives even today. I was also filled with gratitude for the vibrancy of congregations who care, and for my friend who started the prayer group. It’s true that prayers are sometimes not answered as we would hope, but in my experience, when we pray, the Spirit moves!
One church that made forging a caring ministry their priority is the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Karen Lampe, one of the ministers there, wrote a wonderful little book about this ministry: “The Caring Congregation, How to become one and why it matters.” The church grew dramatically as they began to commit themselves to healing and wholeness, and set out to create a ministry of congregational care carefully designed to connect with people during difficult times.
Key to the success of the care ministry at Resurrection is the recruitment of volunteers with the gift of caring, a willingness to undergo training, as well as a commitment to pray, visit, support and be a companion to people walking through the valley of the shadow.
If you, or someone you know, feels called to such a ministry, there’s good news. Pastoral Care Specialist Training, a two-year program, will begin September 10 on Long Island. The program is designed for pastors, priests, and lay people who desire to deepen and broaden their pastoral care skills. Penny Gadzini, Miriam Koo, and Joshua Jong, three ordained ministers who are also Blanton-Peale trained pastoral counselors, will lead the classes at Arumdaun Presbyterian Church in Bethpage, N.Y. For information or to apply, contact Rev. Penny Gadzini at 917-287-0583 or, email@example.com.
|NYAC Student Among Social Justice Interns|
Excerpted from Faith in Action
A young woman from the Bronx is one of 12 persons, ages 20 to 22, working in Washington, D.C., since early in June in the Ethnic Minority Young Adult (EYA) Summer Internship program of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS).
Usha Satish, 21, is a member of Westchester UMC, and studies biology and political science at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. Her two-month placement is with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Young adults are selected annually, primarily from the five ethnic caucuses of The United Methodist Church (UMC), to participate in the internships. They are working in nonprofit and nongovernmental social-justice organizations in the U.S. capital. In recent years, Central Conferences (outside the United States) have had an increasingly more prominent role in the internships.
To qualify, applicants must be passionate about social justice and active in the denomination, according to the Rev. Neal Christie, GBCS assistant general secretary for Education & Leadership Formation who directs the program.
Christie, an EYA intern himself in 1984, said the internship is The United Methodist Church’s only leadership development program with a public-policy and advocacy focus that reaches out to under-represented racial and ethnic young adults of color.
“This summer we have students from across the United States, representing Asian, African, Pacific Islanders and Mexican ethnicities, and four from Africa.” Christie said. “This is the second year in a row that we have had such a significant involvement across the global church.”
In addition to the NAACP, this year’s placement sites include the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and National Council of Churches of Christ-USA (NCC).
7 U.S. conferences, 3 jurisdictions
The 12 interns come from seven United Methodist annual conferences, and four from African Central Conferences. Three of the denomination’s five U.S. jurisdictions are represented.
The 2012 interns include four African Americans, one Mexican American, one Asian American (India), two Pacific Islanders and four Africans. The African interns include two from Democratic Republic of the Congo, and one each from Kenya and Liberia.
Joining Satish in the program are:
• Mataiasi Ahokava, Pacific Islander, 21, Sacramento, Calif. (California-Nevada Conference). He majors in communications at San Francisco State University. Placement is with CMEP, a coalition working to encourage U.S. policies that actively promote a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ensuring security, human rights and religious freedom for all people in the region. He attends Oak Port Tongan UMC.
• Siera Barksdale, African American, 20, Spartanburg, S.C. (South Carolina). She studies psychology at Spartanburg Methodist College. Placement is with NCADP.
• Lizeth Hernandez, Mexican American, 22, Tempe, Ariz. (Desert Southwest). She majors in global studies and human rights at Arizona State University. Placement is with the NCC Poverty program. She attends First UMC in Glendale.
• Ann Jacob, Asian American (India ethnicity), 20, Norristown, Pa. (Eastern Pennsylvania). She majors in international relations and economics at Boston University. Placement is with Results, a nonprofit, grassroots citizen’s lobby working to create the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. Her home church is Lima (Pa.) UMC.
• Kyle Jamison, African American, 20, Springfield, Mass. (New England). He studies criminal justice at American International College. Placement is with NCC Eco-Justice program. He attends Wesley UMC.
• Olga Tshiwew Kangaj, 22, Likasi, Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo Central Conference). She majors in business at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Placement is with Feeding America, which addresses hunger through a nationwide network of member food banks. She attends Mount Carmel UMC in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
• Walter Manuefetoa, Pacific Islander, 20, San Bruno, Calif. (California-Nevada). He is pursuing an associate degree with a concentration in music at Skyline College. Placement is with Men Can Stop Rape. He attends First Tongan UMC.
• Sullivan Nimley Jr., 22, New Kru Town, Liberia (Liberia). He studies economics at United Methodist University in Monrovia, Liberia. Placement is with the NCC Eco-Justice program. He attends Trinity UMC in New Kru Town.
• Junie Nkonge, 20, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo Central Conference). She is studying management information systems at Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, Tenn. Placement is with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which seeks reproductive justice in the United States. Her home church is Lubumbashi UMC.
• Mercy Rehema Oduori, 21, Nairobi, Kenya. She majors in theology at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Placement is with Methodist Federation for Social Action, which mobilizes clergy and laity within the UMC to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights.
• Koneisha Timmons, African American, 20, Hanceville, Ala. (North Alabama). She majors in psychology with a minor in sociology at Alabama A&M University. Placement is with Faith & Politics Institute, which has served hundreds of members of Congress and their staff members by offering experiential pilgrimages, reflection groups, retreats and public forums since 1991. She attends Pleasant Grove UMC.
In addition to their work placements, interns also participate in weekly seminars exploring issues that affect different racial/ethnic communities.They attend church together each Sunday, and meet for weekly evening devotions and Bible studies. Richards leads the Wednesday worship.
“The EYA interns truly embrace what it means to live in Christian community day in and day out,” said Christie. “They know that this summer is more than professional stair stepping or positioning to pack a resume. It’s about witnessing to the Gospel in their placements and in their Friday seminars.”
For more information on the program, go to: http://www.umc-gbcs.org.
|Don’t Forget: Health Screening, Online Questionnaire|
Some of the changes in Healthflex for active clergy include:
• Deductible for 2013 is $750 singles / $1500 families unless both the pastor and spouse complete the Health Quotient online questionnaire between August 1 and September 30. Taking the HQ reduces the deductible to $500 singles / $1000 families.
• Increase in co-pays: $200 for emergency room; $100 for urgent care visit. Co-pays on prescriptions will also increase, but the annual deductible will be eliminated.
• Healthflex premiums for 2013 are projected to be $14, 448, with the church paying $13,248 or $1204 monthly (92 percent) and clergy paying $1200 or $100 monthly (8 percent).
• Board will establish $300 Health Reimbursement Accounts for all active clergy to cover new out-of-pocket expenses.
• Complete the Blueprint for Wellness screening by July 31 to earn $100 in HealthCash.
• “Extend Health” will be the new method to provide access to retiree supplemental insurance. It provides access to a wide variety of medical, drug, dental and vision plans from the nation’s leading health insurers.
• Each retiree will be given a Health Reimbursement Account of $2644 to be used for premium and expense reimbursements.
• Retirees will work with an Extend Health lifetime-benefits counselor to “choose the best plan for their needs and area.”
Over the next few months, the conference will begin to hold small group informational and educational sessions in several geographic regions. A free breakfast meeting is scheduled at the Wethersfield UMC in Wethersfield, Conn., at 9:30 a.m., August 16. Representatives from the Conference Board of Pensions and our new insurance carrier will be present. To register: contact Sally Truglia, at 914-615-2220, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Alfred C. Thompson
Rev.Alfred C. Thompson, a resident of East Hampton, N.Y., died June 25 at a nursing home in Fremont, N.H.
Thompson, who was 87, served in the Navy during World War II in the South Pacific, and later joined the Naval Reserves where he served as a chaplain for more than 25 years before retiring.
During his ministry with the New York Annual Conference, he served the following churches: First UMC of East Hampton, N.Y.; Goodsell Memorial and Vanderveer Park in Brooklyn; Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; New Fairfield New Life Community, Conn.; and Sag Harbor, N.Y.
He also served as a chaplain for the New York City Fire Department for more than 30 years, and as senior chaplain in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as a past national chaplain of the American Legion. He was predeceased by his first wife, Louise Penner Thompson; his second wife, Rev. Sheila Robbins Thompson; and brother, Rev. Garfield Thompson.
He is survived by his children: Alfred C. (Thelma) Thompson II of Danville, N.H.; Keith (Cindy) Thompson of McKinney, Texas; Carolyn (Randy) Thompson of Freeport, Great Britian; Erik (Denise) Thompson and wife of Bullville, N.Y.; sister Evelyn (Roy) Naevestad of Speculator, N.Y.; along with stepsons: Leonard (Linda) Robbins of Oro Valley, Ariz., and Eric Robbins of Tucson; ten grandchildren: Alfred C. (Tori) Thompson III; Jason, Morgan, Madison, and Hunter Thompson; Jared (Alicia) Thompson; Kirsten (Donald Jr.) Brew; Matthew, Kathryn, and Erik-Jon Thompson.
A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m., August 18, at First UMC, 35 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, N.Y.
George William Wright
George William Wright, 83, a former administrator of the New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, died June 23 at his home in Lewisburg, Penn.
Wright was active on the local, district and conference levels of the United Methodist Church in the New York Conference. A former member of St. James UMC in Lynbrook, N.Y., Wright was board president of Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery and a founding board member of the UM Mission in Far Rockaway, N.Y.
He was born in Lincoln, Ill., and was married for 49 years to the former Ann C. Hennessy, who survives. A Navy veteran of the Korean War, Wright received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hunter College, and a master’s in hospital administration from Columbia University.
Wright also served as administrator at St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, N.Y., and at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. In Malverne, N.Y., he was a village trustee and police commissioner, as a well as a member of American Legion Post 44.
After moving to Pennsylvania, he was active in the Susquehanna Visitors Center, Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross, and the Beaver Memorial UMC.
In addition to his wife, Wright is survived by three children, Lisa (Bill) Bernard of Lewisburg, Penn., Alison (Rich) Werkmeister of Sparta, N.J., and Bill (Michelle) Wright of Torrance, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.
A funeral service was held June 27 at Beaver Memorial UMC, Lewisburg. Burial followed at Ft. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Donations in Wright’s memory may be made to Beaver Memorial UMC, 40 S. Third St., Lewisburg, PA 17837, or the American Cancer Society, 1948 E. Third St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
|U.S. Senate Passes Malaria Resolution|
On July 10, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of World Malaria Day—April 25 each year—including the target of ending malaria deaths by 2015. It reaffirmed U.S. leadership for efforts to combat malaria as a critical component of the President’s Global Health Initiative.
The resolution commends the progress made toward reducing global malaria prevalence and deaths,particularly through the efforts of the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
The United Methodist Church has been heavily involved in the fight to end malaria and has committed to raise $75 million
with Imagine No Malaria. The efforts in prevention and education thus far have dropped the death rate from one every 30 seconds to one every 60 seconds. The New York Annual Conference is one of 12 annual conferences that have agreed to be part of a “Vanguard wave” in 2012–13, focusing on advocacy activities, major gift cultivation and local church participation.
At annual conference, Bishop Jeremiah Park announced $400,000 in pledges to the INM campaign. A special offering brought in another $182,787, including a $50,406 donation from the Bishop’s Partners in Mission Fund.
Bishop: Jeremiah J. Park
Director of Connectional Ministries: Ann A. Pearson
Editor: Joanne Utley
Vision e-mail: email@example.com
Web site: www.nyac.com
New York Conference of The United Methodist Church
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Phone (914) 997-1570 or
Fax (914) 615-2244