The Vision
The Newspaper of The New York Conference of The United Methodist Church April 2019

In this issue

Responding to Cyclone Aftermath


Members of the NYAC Mozambique Connection have been in close communications with contacts on the ground in areas that were affected by Cyclone Idai, which struck the southeast coast of Africa in mid-March.

Early this month, funds were wired through church connections that allowed for the purchase and installation of four large tarps at the Dondo House for Children. Additional funds have been approved by the NYAC cabinet from the Quadrennial Mission Focus Fund which will be available for additional relief support. This will be coordinated among the NYAC Mozambique Connection, Connectional Ministries and the Missions office.

Within the first week after Idai hit, the United Methodist Committee on Relief allocated three $10,000 grants for immediate, emergency short-term funding to meet basic human needs in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Those needs include water transportation and storage for drinking, cooking and personal and domestic hygiene, along with temporary shelter.

Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. The long-lived storm caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving a death toll of upwards of 1,000 with thousands more missing. Idai slammed into the Mozambican port city of Beira on March 14 then continued its deadly path westward towards Zimbabwe.

Respeito Chirrinze, UMCOR’s disaster management coordinator in Mozambique, told United Methodist News Service that the $10,000 grant would help meet needs in the communities in Nicoadala and Gondola. “Because there is aid being channeled to Sofala and Manica, many nonprofit organizations seem to be forgetting other areas where people are isolated but in need of assistance, too,” he said.

A campaign for donations has been launched throughout The United Methodist Church in the Mozambique Episcopal Area, Chirrinze noted.

The recovery in Mozambique, as with others, will be a long process. Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton encouraged NYAC churches to support the work of UMCOR. In addition, he suggested a special offering be made to the conference to provide direct assistance to the projects that have been undertaken by the NYAC/Mozambique Connection. (Checks should be sent to the NYAC Conference Center with the notation, “NYAC Mozambique Cyclone Relief.”)

The New York Conference has had a mission presence in Mozambique since the mid 1990s. Bishop Forrest Stith led a delegation there in 1994 and Volunteers in Mission teams have been traveling there ever since. The conference has worked with both former UMC Bishop João Somane Machado and current bishop, Joaquina Filipe Nhanala. Nhanala was a special guest at our annual conference shortly after she became the first woman bishop elected in Africa.

Our conference has been active both in the southern (Maputo and Cambine) and northern areas (Beira, Dondo and Lichinga) of Mozambique. We were the first UMC missionary group to begin addressing the needs of the north. The efforts of the conference have included physical labor, educational training, scholarships, Vacation Bible School, and project funding as well as gifts of choir robes, recorders and dresses.

Some of the areas and projects where the NYAC has worked include:

Carolyn Belshe Orphanage in the United Methodist compound


  • Bishop’s residence/fellowship center
  • Dondo House for Children orphanage
  • Computer internet center
  • The English School, an afterschool English language program hosted by three UM churches.

Community farm project to teach best agricultural practices, raise food for the community, and help fund the church there.

Tarps are placed over a damaged roof at the Dondo House for Children in Mozambique.

United Methodist educational center to teach pastors and lay leaders about sustainability in their communities, as well as provide theological training and leadership development. The center project is a collaboration between the New York and Missouri annual conferences with the major funding coming from Missouri.

To train pastors for the UMC, in addition to students pursuing degrees in a variety of other fields. One of the first recipients was Rev. Dr. Julio Andre Vilanculos, the chancellor of the United Methodist University of Mozambique

Assessments of cyclone damage

  • Dondo House for Children, an orphanage that was opened in 2018, sustained damage to the roofs of all four buildings—an education center, boys’ and girls’ dorms, and the director’s residence. The rain and wind also caused damage to the contents in each structure, like books and beds. As of April 2, tarps were keeping the staff and children safe from the sun and rain until permanent repairs can be made.
  • Parts of the roof were ripped off the Bishop’s residence/fellowship center in Beira. Repairs are needed to keep the building—which is still under construction—from deteriorating further.
  • The roof of the school at the Gondola Training Center has been damaged.
  • Damage to a number of local UM churches and parsonages—for instance, heavy rains caused the Mutarara UMC and parsonage to collapse. Central UMC in Beira lost its roof and two trees fell on the home of Rev. Jecob Jenhuro, the bishop’s assistant in the North Annual Conference

Mission Opportunities

Missionary Support
Local churches can support United Methodist missionaries by inviting them to speak at worship, lead a Bible study, mission discussion, or attend an event with the United Methodist Women or Men. This is a great opportunity to hear their stories, and gain a better understanding of the role that missionaries play in the larger ministry and mission of the church.

John Calhoun, missionary in Ukraine, will be itinerating in the conference from June 25 to July 5. He works with international students and migrant communities to provide guidance in the areas of leadership training, community development, and preaching. Calhoun’s bio can be found on the GBGM website.

To schedule a visit to your church, contact Jill Wilson at 860-690-1853, or via email.

Volunteer in Mission teams to Haiti are on hold due to the travel advisory which currently remains at Level 4—do not travel. Mountains of Hope for Haiti, the NYAC mission with Haiti, was able to provide seed, fertilizer, and emergency food to several rural communities within the last few weeks. For more information about MHH, email Wendy Vencuss.

Puerto Rico
The Connecticut District is sending another team to aid in the recovery on the island. Dates are June 22 to 29; cost is $650. For information or applications, contact team leader Tom Vencuss via email.

Rev. Steven Kim (with guitar) and Wendy Vencuss instruct the hula-hoopers on the lawn of the Huntington-Cold Spring Harbor UMC during the church’s “Hulapalooza” on March 30. Read all about it and the Abundant Health event at Tremont UMC.
Getting Healthy from Bronx to LI

“Hulapalooza” celebrations book-ended the month of March with events in the Bronx and on Long Island. Hulapalooza helps promote the denomination’s Abundant Health initiative that is challenging UMC congregations to make health of body, mind, and spirit a priority for all ages.

Tremont UMC, The Bronx

Coordinators Angela Perez and Eric Shirley 

The Hulapalooza at Tremont United Methodist Church was a fun and wonderful event for both the church and the community on March 9. Our event promoted health and wellness, spirituality and love.

We were able to connect with health organizations and community services that provided information and shared their resources on such topics as cancer, mammograms, HIV, and hepatitis.  Our programs included the New York City departments of mental health and hygiene, Bronx Health REACH, and BOOM!Health.

We also had a chance to promote youth mission ministries like the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) and U.M. ARMY. Tai chi, dance, and massage offered ways to deal with stress. We had art, crochet, and knitting workshops.  

We ended this wonderful day with everyone trying to master the hula hoop.  Eric and I were not true pros at it, but we were still having fun. This was a day of celebration in which we had music, food, and poetry. We thank Wendy Vencuss and Tom Vencuss for helping us organize this event.  We also thank our pastors Dr. Marva Usher Kerr, Rev. Arletha Miles-Boyce, all its members, and community organizations that helped us make this possible.

Huntington Cold Spring Harbor UMC

Susan Dewey Hammer, Abundant Health Liaison

We are very grateful that God provided spectacular weather on March 30. Pastor Steve Kim led us in worship, before everyone participated in a variety of other fun, meaningful, and engaging outside and inside activities, including “hulahooping!”

Participants could have their blood pressure checked, their eyes examined, and also learn about the facts of diabetes, healthy eating with portion control, and aging in place.

Other workshops covered such topics as children’s activities, gentle yoga, local church disaster response, making healthy snacks, “Seeds of Hope” senior’s ministry, and the Strengthening Families Program.

Resource tables provided information about Abundant Health and FAN (Faith, Activity, and Nutrition), Bread for the World, Eat Smart NY, mental health ministries, organic weight management program, Stony Brook Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease, U.M. ARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth), and the YMCA.

The children enjoyed creating, and eating, rainbow vegetable pizza.

Everyone, of all ages, felt the presence of God as we were empowered to live our lives more abundantly. We were also able to raise $150 for UMCOR’s Abundant Health initiative.

The next “Hulapalooza” in the conference is scheduled for June 1 at the Community UMC in Massapequa, N.Y. For more information the Abundant Health initiative, or to schedule your own “Hulapalooza,” contact Wendy Vencuss by email.

For a full lineup of events, go to:

4/19 Conference Center Closed
The offices in White Plains will be closed in observance of Good Friday.

4/26–28 “Converge” Youth Retreat
All youth in the Long Island East and West, and the Metropolitan districts are invited to this weekend at Camp Quinipet on Shelter Island. The event starts Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes at noon Sunday. Register through your local church by March 31; details can be found here.

5/4 Missional Community Engagement Forum
Featured speaker, Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, is the author of Almost Christian,which investigates why American teenagers are at once so positive about Christianity and at the same time so apathetic about genuine religious practice. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at DoubleTree by Hilton, 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, N.Y. Cost of $30 includes continental breakfast, lunch buffet, and afternoon snacks; please register here.

5/10–11 “Lead Like Jesus Encounter” Workshop
The UMM of the Northeastern Jurisdiction is sponsoring this event led by Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, who serves the General Commission on United Methodist Men as director of the Center for Men’s Ministries. Deadline to register in April 20; cost is $80 which includes book, workbook and lunch. The event runs from 7–9 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday at First UMC, 42 Cross Road, Stamford, Conn. Click here for registration info. Or contact the NYAC’s Ben Nelson
at 917-715-9872 for more information.

5/18 VBS Preview Workshop
Come explore the new VBS program from Cokesbury, “To Mars and Beyond.” The event from 10 a.m. to 12 noon is hosted by Vail’s Gate United Methodist Church, 854 Bloomingrove Turnpike, New Windsor, N.Y. The gathering will preview the stories, make some crafts, and play some games. You will also get to meet other churches doing the program to make connections to share materials and ideas. Contact Cassandra Negri by email at with any questions or to register by May 12.

5/19 Farewell for Catskill Hudson DS
Join in a celebration of the gifts and graces of Rev. Timothy Riss as he completes his tenure as superintendent of the Catskill Hudson District. The event begins at 4 p.m. at Catskill UMC, 40 Woodland Ave., Catskill N.Y. For further info and to register by May 10, go to the NYAC website.

5/24–26 Quinipet Volunteer Weekend
Whether you are part of a church group, youth group, Quinipet alumni or simply wanting to give back, you’re invited to “Spring into Action” at the camp on Shelter Island. Your housing and meals are free in appreciation of your help. Projects may include painting, raking, grounds cleanup, etc. You will also get to meet new people, worship together and have fun. Register on the camping website here.

5/31 150 Legacy Gala
The United Methodist Women of the NYAC will be celebrating the group’s 150 anniversary with a gala dinner at Christ Church UM, 524 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. The May 31 program runs from 7:15 p.m. to midnight; tickets are $100 and attire is semi-formal. To purchase tickets call: Karen Prudente at 646-966-0463, Laureen Goodridge-Smith at 917-842-5979, or Bernice Semple at 917-817-5645.

6/1 Healing Prayer Workshop
The New York Annual Conference Worship team is looking for lay people with the gift of healing to be part of this year’s team at Hofstra University. The candidates must be present at the NYAC gathering in June 2019 and be willing to attend this 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. training session at the conference center. Register here; or for more information, email Ximena Varas at

6/6–9 New York Annual Conference
With the theme, “Pathways & Possibilities: Journeying Together,” the four-day gathering runs from Thursday to Sunday. Among other considerations, we will be electing lay and clergy delegates to the 2020 General Conference. Additional details and registration info can be found on the NYAC website. Register through May 4 to save $25; once again, there will be no onsite registration.

7/10–14 Youth 2019 Registration
“Love Well,” the national gathering for United Methodist youth and their leaders in Kansas City, promises four days of discipleship, worship, Bible study, big-name musical artists, service opportunities and life-changing fun. YOUTH 2019 is for youth grades 6–12 and their leaders. For more information, go to or @youth2019 on all social media platforms. Registration closes May 31.

7/26–28 Mission “u” Weekend
Join the United Methodist Women and Board of Laity for a weekend of spiritual growth and to expand your knowledge and concept of mission. The 2019 studies are: “Practicing Resurrection: The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship,” “What About Our Money? A Faith Response,” and “Women United for Change.” The event will be held at the Hilton Stamford in Connecticut. There is a one-day sampler program available on Saturday. For additional information or to register by July 1, click here.

8/18–23 Family Beach Week
Start a new tradition by experiencing summer camp as a family at Camp Quinipet on Shelter Island. Sail, swim, ride bikes, shuttle to nearby attractions, worship together, meet guest ministers and more. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Open week, register a-la-carte and come for any combination of days. Hostel-style and private rooms available.

Vision Deadlines for 2019
The Vision is a monthly online publication of the New York Conference. Deadlines are always the first Friday of the month, with posting to the web site about 10 days later. The deadlines for 2019 are May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, October 4, November 1, and December 6. Please send any stories, photos, ideas, or questions directly to

Forum: Where Have All The Young People Gone?

If your congregation is looking for ways to re-engage with children, youth and young adults, you’ll want to hear from Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean at the Missional Community Engagement Forum on May 4.

Jim StinsonDean will explore how congregations can continue to be relevant with, and connect to, millennials and post-millennials. A United Methodist pastor in the Greater New Jersey Conference, she has immersed herself in the practice of connecting with young people, and will offer concrete ideas to re-engage that population so that congregations can truly be what, where and who God calls them to be in the 21st century.

The forum is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Tarrytown, 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, N.Y. Registration is required; a fee of $30 includes a continental breakfast, lunch buffet, and afternoon snacks.

Dean is the author of Almost Christian, which investigates why American teenagers are at once so positive about Christianity and at the same time so apathetic about genuine religious practice . The book will be available to purchase for $10 at the event .

She is also the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with Princeton s Institute for Youth Ministry and the Farminary .

In 2013, she and fellow pastor Mark DeVries co-founded Ministry Incubators, Inc., an educational and consulting group dedicated to missional innovation and entrepreneurial forms of ministry. Dean is currently the project director and senior strategist for The Zoe Project, a Lilly Endowment initiative designed to foster innovation in congregations around young adults. A graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she served as a pastor and campus minister in suburban Washington, D.C., before receiving her doctorate from Princeton Seminary in 1997.

Hygiene Kits: Making It Right
We’ve all been making hygiene/health kits for years, but sometimes UMCOR has to update the content list or tweak the instructions a little. So please follow the instructions below before transporting your kits to the New York Annual Conference, which runs from June 6–9.

Hygiene Kit Materials

  • One hand towel (15" x 25"–17" x 27"): No kitchen, cleaning, or microfiber towels
  • One washcloth: No kitchen, cleaning, or microfiber towels
  • One sturdy comb with at least six inches of teeth. No pocket combs or picks. Rattail and combs without handles are acceptable but must have at least six inches of teeth
  • One toenail or fingernail clipper: No emery boards or metal nail files
  • Bath-size soap (3 oz. bar or larger) left in the packaging: No Ivory or Jergen’s soap
  • One adult toothbrush in the original packaging: Personal advertising is not acceptable
  • 10 adhesive bandages (0.75" % 3"): Common household bandages are acceptable
  • One one-gallon size re-sealable bag

Important Notes

  • All items must be new.
  • Do not wash any of the items as they will no longer be considered new.
  • Do not include any personal notes, money or additional materials in the kits.
  • Contents of kits or the containers should not be imprinted with cartoon characters, advertisements, religious, patriotic, military or camouflage symbols

Assembly Instructions

Watch a video on the proper assembly.

1. Lay hand towel flat on a table.

2. Lay the washcloth in the center of the hand towel.

3. Place all remaining items (except the plastic bag) on top of the washcloth.

4. Fold the sides of the hand towel to cover the items.

5. Grasp the bundle tightly and roll over the remainder of the towel.

6. Place the tightly rolled bundle in the plastic bag, squeeze out the air, and seal.

Delivery Instructions

  • Bring your completed kits to Hofstra University Arena during the NYAC gathering in June.
  • Bring a check or cash totaling $2 for each of the kits to cover the cost of toothpaste and shipping. Do not include money in the kits. Checks should be made out to: New York Annual Conference, with “Hygiene Kits” written on the memo line.
If you have any questions, please contact Jill Wilson by email.

Leaders Pursue Plan for New U.S. Structure

UMNS | United Methodist leaders are pressing ahead with an effort to create a new decision-making body for U.S. matters—despite concerns that it will become another battlefront in the homosexuality debate.

The Connectional Table in an April 3 vote gave the go-ahead to submit legislation to the 2020 General Conference that, if the legislative assembly approves, would offer two steps toward creating such a structure. The 64-member church leadership body acts as sort of a denominational church council coordinating the work of ministry and money.

Judi Kenaston, who leads the Connectional Table subcommittee working on the proposal, made clear that the goal is not to skirt General Conference’s votes on homosexuality.

Instead, the Connectional Table’s goal is to have a place for United Methodists to vote on clergy pensions, retirement plans, property matters, resolutions and other initiatives that solely affect the United States—and take some of the burden off General Conference to deal with these matters.

Ordination standards, clergy conduct rules and marriage policies would remain up to General Conference, Kenaston said.

Still, she acknowledged, there are United Methodists who want or fear the Connectional Table’s proposal will do just that—especially after a special General Conference that has left pain all around.

“At this time, we are left with a very good proposal presented at a very difficult time,” she said. “The church is in transition, and our trust is low. We see and understand the risks of offering any legislation. We don’t want this work to be lost.”

The first step in the Connectional Table’s legislation would create a General Conference legislative committee to deal with petitions pertaining exclusively to the U.S. church.

The committee, which would not convene until the 2024 General Conference, would consist of all U.S. delegates to General Conference. It also would include two delegates from each central conference—church regions in Africa, Europe and the Philippines. The Connectional Table proposes that General Conference’s Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters name these delegates, who will have voice but not vote.

“There is a perspective here that is needed,” the Mississippi Conference’s Bishop James Swanson Sr. explained. “Sometimes something may look like it’s only dealing with the U.S. but may have an effect on other local churches.”

He noted that the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters also includes U.S. members.

The Committee on U.S. Matters, unlike its central matters counterpart, would not be a permanent committee that meets between General Conference sessions. However, as with the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters, any legislation approved by the U.S. committee also would need the support of the General Conference’s full multinational plenary to go forward.

Connectional Table members see the committee approach as only an interim step towards creating a U.S. central conference where delegates from across the U.S. could make decisions without going to the full General Conference.

At present, that is how some decisions work in the current seven central conferences. Central conferences have authority under the denomination’s constitution to make “such changes and adaptations” to the Book of Discipline, the denomination’s policy book, as missional needs and differing legal contexts require.

In practice, that means central conferences make decisions related to administering their own clergy pensions, their own clergy compensation and in some cases, their own clergy’s educational requirements.

Creating a new legislative committee on U.S. matters would only require a simple majority vote at the 2020 General Conference. However, creating a new central conference requires multiple constitutional amendments—a high hurdle.

For ratification, amendments must receive at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference and at least two-thirds of the total votes at annual conferences.

If a U.S. central conference was approved by General Conference and ratified, the legislative committee on U.S. matters would sunset.

Since the creation of central conferences in the 1920s, Methodists have talked about creating a church structure to deal with solely U.S. concerns. Still, such proposals often have faced tough opposition.

As recently as 2016, petitions to create a U.S. central conference and other proposed new regional structures didn’t make it out of committee at General Conference. Earlier, constitutional amendments to create uniform regional conferences around the globe gained approval at the 2008 General Conference, only to go down to defeat before annual conference voters.

However, Kenaston and other church leaders believe the development of a new General Book of Discipline gives the effort new urgency.

Since 2012, the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters has been working to determine which parts of the current Book of Discipline’s Part VI are essential for all United Methodists and which can be adapted. Part VI, the largest section in the Discipline, deals with organizational and administrative matters.

The committee will recommend that any parts it deems adaptable be moved to a new Part VII in the Discipline. The standing committee is collaborating with three other leadership bodies, including the Connectional Table, in developing its recommendations.

As it stands, the new Part VII will only be adaptable outside the United States—unless the U.S. has its own central conference.

In 2018—before the special General Conference—standing committee members were encouraging of the Connectional Table’s plans to create a place for U.S. decision-making.

However, when Kenaston spoke to the standing committee again last month, the mood was decidedly different.

Because of the General Conference 2019 fallout, the standing committee already had agreed to delay bringing its General Book of Discipline recommendations for a vote until the 2024 General Conference. Instead, the group plans to ask the 2020 General Conference delegates to give feedback on the work done so far.

“I appreciate all the impulses, but I think we are in a different day,” said the Rev. Amy Lippoldt, a standing committee member from the Great Plains Conference. “I would want to put my energy toward something that goes a lot farther in creating space than this does.”

Other committee members remained unsure about what a new U.S. central conference would do to the denomination’s power dynamics—particularly since plan keeps the five U.S. jurisdictions for bishop elections.

“Why doesn’t America become something like five central conferences, simply changing the five jurisdictions into central conferences?” asked Simon Mafunda, a standing committee member from the East Zimbabwe Conference. “If they are only going to have one central conference and they still want to hold onto jurisdictions, big questions remain.”

Kenaston said the goal is to have the least complicated legislation. Also, she told United Methodist News Service that the legal contexts for pensions and property are pretty much the same across the U.S.

After the Connectional Table vote to move forward, those backing the U.S. structure were still hopeful but worried it will face strong headwinds.

“From my point of view, it’s a need,” said Benedita Penicela-Nhambiu, a veteran General Conference delegate from the Mozambique South Conference. “I’m feeling this need from quadrennia and quadrennia ago.”

Come Rally With Bishop Bickerton

Join with other confirmation classes and leaders from across the conference for worship with lots of praise music, a chat and photos with Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, workshops, and a catered lunch. This year’s rally is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 11, at Valhalla UMC, 200 Columbus Ave., Valhalla, N.Y. Register your team on the NYAC website. Contact Carol Merante via email or call 914-615-2228.

Resources, Grants Available For Deaf Ministries

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. It’s an opportunity for deaf ministries and churches to raise awareness around hearing loss and shine a spotlight on communication access. The United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard ofHearing Ministries has a list of online resources as a place to start. A few of the committee’s suggestions on how to raise awareness in May include:

  • Bulletin inserts about hearing loss (see the resource page link)                 
  • Write a brief article for your church newsletter highlighting hearing loss among seniors (or request permission to reprint an article from Hearing Life magazine)
  • Announce signs of noise and hearing loss prevention each Sunday during May
  • Encourage self-test hearing screenings
  • Offer a sign language class
  • Share a flyer of any related events with audiology offices and hearing aid centers
  • Host a Deaf Awareness Sunday or a Deaf Ministry Sunday

Available Grants for Ministry

The United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries provides opportunities for empowering deaf, late-deafened, hard of hearing, and deafblind people through grants for projects and scholarships. Grants range

from $3000 to $5000 and may support seed money for new ministries, international mission outreach, curriculum development, internships, deaf camps, deafblind camps, communication access and scholarships.

The grant cycles for 2019 are June and November. Grant applications and a list of previous projects can be found on the group’s website.

Committee coordinator, Rev. Leo Yates, is available for consultation via email at

Deaf Leadership Stipends Available

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries Committee is offering limited stipends for United Methodist churches to hire deaf and hard of hearing persons as deaf ministry coordinators or some other related leadership role. The amount of the stipend, a type of scholarship, is up to $3,000. A ministry plan must be included with the grant application explaining how the deaf or hard of hearing coordinator will either implement a new ministry or expand an existing ministry.

The stipend is not for temporary or internship type positions, but for individuals who will be hired by the church for ministry or missional purposes.

Committee coordinator, Rev. Leo Yates, is available for consultation via email at

UMC Launches New Website for Leadership Resources

United Methodist Communications (UMCom) has launched a new leadership-focused website, The site was developed as a centralized portal to equip UM leaders across the globe with helpful information, tools and multilingual assets.

This single web address provides easy access to all of the agencies of The United Methodist Church and their ministry resources. Content has been aggregated from across the connection, saving leaders precious time. The materials provided include the how-to’s of doing ministry, as well as ones that will motivate, encourage and inspire those in leadership roles.

“ResourceUMC helps leaders do their jobs better by connecting them with information specifically tailored to their interests and needs,” says Tyrus B. Sturgis, director of leader communications for UMCom, which is responsible for overall

communications and marketing for The United Methodist Church. “It also uses research-based insights into leaders’ needs and preferences, to make informed decisions about creating and curating content that they will find pertinent.”

Companion ResourceUMC Facebook and Twitter channels provide a place for leaders to participate, interact, share with and learn from one another, while “The Source” e-newsletter updates users about interesting and timely content. “By offering a comprehensive experience, leaders acquire information in the way they prefer: on demand via the website, in their social feeds or in newsletter format in their email inbox,” shares Sturgis.

The announcement comes on the heels of United Methodist Communications’ recent launch of, the news-only website managed by the United Methodist News Service.

Wife & Mother Saved From Imminent Deportation

On February 11, 2019, Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), the legal ministry supported by the New York Conference, managed to rescue one of its clients from imminent deportation.

The woman had entered the United States without inspection and was subjected to an expedited removal order by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2013. But because she was pregnant at the time, her removal was deferred.For the next five years, the client continued to check in and comply with all legal requirements. Last year, however, the woman was warned that the current administration’s policy mandated immediate deportation of persons in her situation. ICE demanded that she turn over her passport and obtain a one-way ticket to Ecuador.

But as the client’s husband had entered the United States under an asylum claim, JFON asked that the woman also be questioned by an asylum officer in a “credible fear interview.”

In a credible fear interview, noncitizens can apply for asylum or withholding of removal if they are able to establish a crediblefear of persecution or torture if returned to their home country.

The asylum office found her claim to be credible and rescinded the expedited removal. Her case will now be consolidated with that of her husband and the couple will appear before an immigration judge together. This client sought assistance at JFON’s La Promesa Mission Clinic in Flushing.

NY JFON is dedicated to providing free, high-quality legal advice and representation to vulnerable, low-income immigrants in the New York Metropolitan area. Learn more about this ministry at Donate to the ministry by sending a check to NY JFON, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1505, New York, NY 10115.

200 Years of Answering the Call to Mission


UMNS | A man of mixed African and European heritage who inspired the start of a national missionary-sending society took center stage as The United Methodist Church celebrated 200 years of mission.

The fact that John Stewart was sharing his Christian faith with the Wyandotte, a Native American tribe in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, makes his an even more remarkable story.

That wasn’t the only story at the April 8–10 bicentennial conference, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology at the Emory Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta.

The focus on “answering the call” to mission in the past, present and future touched upon places, pioneers and theological understandings. The conference considered the impact of colonialism, global politics and societal upheaval.

With themes of peacebuilding, healing and visions, the vibrant, multicultural worship included songs and prayers from Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and other lands, along with drumming, dancing and even painting.

The 250 participants included scholars, church leaders, current and former missionaries, mission agency staff, members of partner organizations and representatives of ecumenical and affiliated Methodist denominations.

Stewart is an indicator that the denomination’s mission history is not just inhabited by white men but also filled with the contributions of women, people of color and Methodists outside the U.S. in places like Korea and Singapore, said the Rev. David W. Scott, director of mission theology for Global Ministries and the conference’s coordinator. 

The conference’s ultimate aim, Scott said, was to offer a variety of stories and perspectives to “spiritually and intellectually equip people to engage in creative Methodist mission in the future.”

Part of the immediate future will be the return, in a September ceremony, of the Wyandotte Indian mission property in Upper Sandusky. Now an official United Methodist heritage landmark, the land had been left to the Methodists for safekeeping.

The connection between the Wyandottes and the Methodist Episcopal Church began in 1816, after Stewart—a young man from Virginia who had his share of strife, stumbles and tests of faith—experienced a final conversion.

Much of the Methodist church’s early growth during that era was seeded in camp meetings marked by enthusiastic preaching, compassionate praying and deeply inspired personal reflections, said the Rev. Alfred Day, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.

Chief Janith English, principal chief of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas, credited the Methodist Church for encouraging women “to soar and fly” and to preserve the tribe’s matriarchal culture.

Over centuries and decades, Wyandotte communities have been repeatedly disbursed “but not destroyed,” English said. The simple act of recognizing the disenfranchised and widening the circle of inclusion “can be a powerful, powerful force for positive change.”

Vibrant worship was a key part of the celebration of 200 years of Methodist mission, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, which drew some 250 participants to Atlanta.

The Rev. Elaine Heath, former dean at Duke Divinity School, amplified that message in her address on “Trauma-Informed Evangelism.”

“What does it mean that God’s love is saving us in a world that is terribly broken in so many ways?” asked Heath, who now leads the Community at Spring Forest.

She suggested shedding a top-down, statistics-driven, model of church planting, which doesn’t work anyway in places like Seattle or New England, where people are distrustful of religion and it takes eight to 10 years for a new church to get traction.

The key, Heath said, is to prioritize the well-being of the neighborhood—“the health, the healing and salvation of the whole neighborhood”—instead of the church building.

Moving into the neighborhood, Heath said, means showing up, paying attention and cooperating with God—who is there already and offering healing and hope to traumatized people.

In Africa, where the trauma against the people has included war and the stripping of cultural values and mineral resources by outsiders, mission has emerged as a tool for peacemaking, said Bishop Mande Muyombo of the North Katanga Episcopal Area in the Congo.

“When you remove The United Methodist Church in my area, there will not be life,” he explained. “The church took its mission to become the center of hope, the center of development and the center of the building of the national fabric through peace and reconciliation.”

Creating effective mission for the future depends on involving people under 35, said Joy Eva Bohol, the program executive for youth engagement for the World Council of Churches.

Young people, she declared, feel that the church, in general, is too comfortable and not taking enough risks.

“If transformation is at the very core of the life of the church, why then are we so afraid to change?” she asked.

Musicians, Healing Team Needed for Conference

Music director Raymond Trapp is looking for both an experienced percussionist and guitarist to play with the worship band during the NYAC’s June 6-9 gathering at HofstraUniversity. Anyone interested should contact him via email.

The conference worship team is also looking for lay people with the gift of healing to be part of this year’s team. The participants must be present on Friday, June 7 at Hofstra and be able to attend one training session on June 1 at the conference center. For more information or to volunteer, please email Ximena Varas. Register online for the healing prayer workshop.

Latest New Appointments

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton intends to make the following appointments, effective July 1, 2019:

Susan Chupungco to Rivertowns Incubator, MET
Penny Gadzini to St James UMC, Lynbrook, LIW
Eumin Oh Kim to Jackson Heights Community UMC, LIW
Annette Rodriguez to Woodycrest UMC, MET
Marva Usher-Kerr to Freeport UMC, LIE

A complete list of new appointments and churches remaining with clear openings may be found on the NYAC website.

Living Between Justice Promised & Justice Denied


A couple of years ago when Dr. Nestor Miguéz spoke at the Commission for World Mission and Evangelism’s Consultation in Matanzas, Cuba, he elaborated the concept of living in ambiguity as a call to create transformative communities. The professor claimed that living in ambiguity can equip people to live with the struggle of justice promised and justice denied.

Some sage advice frequently given to leaders from various walks of life today is about living in ambiguity, living in a place between two opposing realms, and being aware of the importance of existing in multiple realms simultaneously, even when one realm seems to oppose the other.

Intersection of now and the not yet

A key spiritual formation is fundamentally about living in ambiguity, whether that is the theological ambiguity of the now and the not yet, or the understanding of the sacred scriptures that Christians are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14–19). Missionally speaking, it is to learn to be living in irony or ambiguity.

On earth, we live between the physical and the spiritual, the dreaming and waking, remembering and feeling, ignorance and illumination, emptiness and fullness, and birth and death. We exist at the intersection of physical sensations and human emotions, between land and sky, light and dark, speech and the inexpressible. Many of us grow impatient with uncertainty, or living a life of uncertainty. We prefer boundaries not blurry edges. We love to codify, classify, identify, categorize and organize everything we experience.

Our society is not comfortable with ambiguity. Our culture seeks tidy classifications and decisive responses. Hence good and evil are defined in relation to the desires of the imperial self. Difference or variance is seen as threatening and must be destroyed or assimilated.

Absolute certainty in decision making is antithesis to communal living and giving witness in the public square. When people make decisions with absolute certainty on lifestyle matters relating to our family members or fellow human beings, we act as agents of Herod not as ambassadors of Christ.

We live in a world teeming with gray areas and mysteries. We take our breath in a twilight zone as many things around us are unknown, ethereal and wraithlike. The world today would be much better off, if good and evil were always sharply differentiated.

Even as I read the Bible in different languages, including Hebrew and Greek, I don’t fully comprehend the mysteries of the sacred texts. I meditate, teach and preach, despite my limited understanding of the Holy Bible. I try to make sense of the biblical teachings and strive to make them relevant to my living context and the context of the listeners.

Outcome of Interaction

Mission scholars and theologians insist that each community should interpret the Bible in its own context and make the Gospel come alive in people’s everyday situations. Hence, they proposed high-sounding missional words such as indigenization, enculturation, contextualization, and so on. Consequently, Christian mission itself is interpreted as global, ecumenical, multi-lingual and multi-contextual. Each community makes the Gospel teachings relevant to its own context.

In our globalized world, we are surrounded by a large intermediate zone of gray and uncertainties. Most of us derive our strength and make decisions to the best of our scriptural knowledge and spiritual experience. Superimposing our ideas and values upon others would derail the oneness and unity that bonds the church together.

It is indeed dangerous to draw the line between right and wrong, good and evil with absolute certainty. We have been taught that self-respect is a virtue and self-conceit is a vice, but who may draw the line between them and say where one ends and the other begins? How often do we confuse opinion with conviction? At what point does liberty turn to license or patience cease to be virtue and become weakness? Where would we draw the line between justice and revenge; and pity from syrupy sentiment? We form habits and then habits form us. Habits are the fetters or the anchors of our soul. Fetters constrain us to act in certainty.

Living in ambiguity is also an outcome of the interaction between the coherent center of the gospel and the contingent particularity of the local culture. We build on the rich teachings and living traditions that have been have been handed over to us which become our treasured liturgy, sacred symbols and celebrated signs. In order to make those signs and symbols relevant to each generation, we regularly update its language and methodologies until they become our routine habits. Those habits in essence are routinely shaped and nurtured by family and faith community rather than individual rationality. Over the years when some of those rituals, signs and symbols don’t make much sense, we continue to tightly hold on to them because of group or communal loyalty. Our hallowed traditions morph into hollow traditionalism.

Tradition and Traditionalism

During the years of exile, the Israelites struggled to retain their distinct identity as God’s community apart from Jerusalem, the temple, and its rich traditions. It forced Israelites to find alternative ways of practicing its rituals and living its teachings, and drawing communal nourishment from them. When Israel could no longer point to God’s presence in the temple as the sure sign of the people’s election, they changed the way they narrated the liberation stories, celebration of festivals and feasts, and entered into the collective memory of their people. They were to continue and prosper as a people while participating fully in the common life of the larger community around them. Out of that experience evolved the revered translation of the Hebrew scriptures known as Septuagint or LXX. Israel’s exilic experience should serve as a model for our church today.

Our rich Christian traditions cannot be turned into a convivial traditionalism. Jeroslav Pelikan, a scholar of Christian history at Yale, succinctly differentiated between tradition and traditionalism when he said, “Tradition is the living practices of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead practices of the living.” How true!

Most of us are conservatives in some areas and liberals in others. I have been with church members who are spiritually conservative and socially liberal. We often live in duality. Our spiritual practices and mission participation do not always originate from divine guidance or enlightenment. We act out of emotions or with Christian impulses because our forebears have done so. Some of our decisions are rooted in traditions and others on traditionalism.

When I was growing up I heard a story about a small group of Buddhist monks who used to gather for their evening meditation at dusk in a monastery at the edge of town. The monastery also housed a rambunctious cat which made such a noise that distracted their time of meditation. One day the elder monk ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening meditation. It continued for a few months and then into years. A few years later, the teacher died but the disciples continued the practice of tying up the cat during meditation sessions. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Decades later, erudite disciples of the spiritual teacher started writing doctoral thesis and scholarly treatises, even preached sermons about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice!

This story aptly expresses a deeper truth: even followers of sacred traditions can easily get tangled up in trivia, giving certain practices significance never intended by the creator. And meditation doesn’t seem quite right unless they have a cat tied up somewhere, so they bring in a new one to continue the tradition.

The church itself is a “mystery” we are called to live into. Let us live in grace, love, and ambiguity. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known,” (1 Corinthians 13:12.)

Dharmaraj is a retired NYAC clergy is a member of the denomination’s Connnectional Table.


Bishop C. Dale White

UMNS | As a fierce advocate for peace and justice, Bishop C. Dale White tackled some of the big issues of recent decades—nuclear disarmament, environmental concerns and Middle East peace. But those strong convictions were balanced by a gentle and focused demeanor, United Methodist friends and colleagues say. Jaydee Hanson, a longtime friend and former staff member of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, called it a “gentle fearlessness” that many people found engaging.

Jim Stinson“Dale had an abundance of vision but offered it in a way that people could adopt it,” he told United Methodist News Service (UMNS).

White, 94, died March 29 after entering hospice care at Newbury Court in Concord, Mass., where he had been living for several years. He served as bishop in The United Methodist Church from 1976–84 in New Jersey and from 1984 to his retirement in 1992 in the New York Area.

Beth Capen, a layperson who now serves on the United Methodist Judicial Council, was a young adult when White was the New York bishop. She grew to appreciate his accessibility and his skills in helping people reach solutions.

“He modeled the fact that our work and our mission is not about us, it is about those who we are serving in the name of God,” she said.

One of White’s major contributions, said retired Bishop William Boyd Grove, a Northeastern Jurisdiction colleague and friend, was the 1986 public statement of the United Methodist Council of Bishops called, “In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis and a Just Peace.” More than any other bishop, he added, White was responsible for that pastoral letter and study guide.

“It was Dale’s idea and he chaired the task force, and it was really his baby.”

On a personal level, White’s foundation was his 70-year marriage to Gwendolyn Ruth Horton, a longtime retreat and spiritual director, who died in 2017. They shared common values, along with a love for their children and a love for the church.

“It’s hard for me to remember either Dale or Gwen White without the other,” Grove said. “The two of them were a pair. Both embraced a simple lifestyle. Neither of them were pretentious in any way.”

Born on January 20, 1925, White grew up in rural Iowa. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Methodist-related Morningside College in Sioux City, a school that has helped develop many church leaders. Enrollment in Boston University School of Theology—where he earned two degrees—landed him permanently on the East Coast. Ordained a deacon and an elder in the Southern New England Conference, White was a staff executive at the Methodist Board of Christian Social Concerns (now Church and Society) from 1961-68. His interest in interfaith relations, international affairs and the lives of people everywhere landed White in some unusual places. In the early months of the Iran hostage crisis, for example, he was part of a seven-member U.S. delegation that traveled to Iran in hopes of helping the situation by “reaffirming and restoring friendship between the American and Iranian peoples.”

Grove said White was instrumental in establishing the Mission for Peace with Young People in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which sponsors an annual trip to allow students to see and do mission.

“That’s had an enormous impact on a lot of young people who are now leaders of the church,” he added.

Outside the denomination, his leadership on the “In Defense of Creation” document led to the biggest “of any public statement that The United Methodist church had made in the last 40 years,” Grove said. After the veteran Associated Press religion reporter George Cornell saw the first draft of the letter in November 1985, he called the unconditional position of the United Methodist bishops even stronger that that taken by U.S. Catholic bishops. White stressed that point after the letter was adopted the following spring.

“We are challenging the policies of the government of this nation, and we are doing so in the name of Christian justice,” he said during a press conference, as quoted by The New York Times.

Jan Love was a professor of international relations when “In Defense of Creation” was released in book form and used it in her classroom. But she thought the statement did not take into account a growing number of critiques from women scholars on the war system “as a male construct that threatened all of creation” and brought that up in a speech to the Board of Church and Society. White, whom she had never met, “immediately sought me out for greater conversation,” she recalled, and they ended up cooperating on various consultations about peace and justice.

“He never stopped learning, he never stopped growing or allowing critical perspectives to enhance his understandings of how the world worked,” said Love, now the dean of Candler School of Theology.

Hanson, one of the persons providing research for “In Defense of Creation,” remembers White as a bishop “who had both strong intellect and strong activist instincts.” Part of the work surrounding the pastoral letter was engaging in “fairly serious” ethical discussions with the people in charge of developing nuclear weapon systems. The United Methodist statement, Hanson noted, “gave the political folks one more reason to want to reduce how many weapons everybody had.”

White’s episcopal address to the 1992 General Conference, just before his retirement as an active bishop, was a further highlight of his ministry. Hanson called the speech a good summation of both his leadership and vision, expounding upon the evils of poverty, pollution and the proliferation of weapons.

Those themes in White’s 1992 episcopal address were picked up later as “parallel structures,” Hanson said, in “God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action,” a 2009 pastoral letter by the Council of Bishops.

White is survived by his children: Hazel (Leland) Lescalleet of Newark, Ohio; Rebecca (John) Blair of Hebron N.H., and Tura Beach, Australia; David (Beth) White of Gouldsboro Me.; Teresa (Daniel) Kuczynski of Salisbury Vt.; and Lisa (Robert) Greer of Jacksonville Texas; and by a brother, Joe White of Iowa Falls, Iowa. He also is survived by seven grandchildren, John Tracy, Chris Tracy, Matt Blair, Kate White, Eve White, Sean Pendl, and Karina Lucia; 12 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his spouse, Gwendolyn Ruth White (2017); son Gerald Wesley White (1998); his sisters Elva, Ruth and Roberta; his brothers Dellus, Daniel and Jerry; and his parents Daniel Columbus White and Anna Francis (Holladay) White.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Bishop C. Dale White will be held at 11 a.m., June 1, 2019, at the Sudbury United Methodist Church, 251 Old Sudbury Rd, Sudbury, Mass. Condolences can be sent to the family in care of his daughter, Teresa Kuczynski, PO Box 153, Salisbury VT 05769.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to:

  • Methodist Community Gardens. Checks can be made out to: Portsmouth UMC, PO Box 265, Portsmouth RI 02871. Designate to “Methodist Community Gardens—Memory Bishop White”
  • Donations to these three UMC divisions: New England Jurisdictional Council on Youth Ministries—Mission of Peace (MOP), United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), or Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. These may be made through the New England Conference by designating the division and “Bishop White Memorial” on the check. Mail to: Brenda Borchers, Administrative Assistant to Bishop Devadhar , New England Conference, 411 Merrimack St., Suite 200, Methuen MA 01844.

Pastor William “Fred” Loving

Pastor William “Fred” Loving, 75, of Johnson, N.Y., died March 28, 2019, at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, N.Y., after a long illness.

The son of the late Willie and Mary Tucker Loving, he was born on March 13, 1944. in Harlem. Loving attended N.Y.C. schools and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Loving worked at Mid Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center as a senior treatment assistant for many years until his retirement in 1999. He was a volunteer fireman for Engine 1 in Middletown and an emergency medical technician (EMT) for Midway Ambulance. 

Loving received his license to preach in 2011, and led churches in Fort Montgomery and Westbrookville, N.Y.

He is survived by his wife, Merri Lou; daughters, Toshia Loving, and Erin (Greg) Evans; a stepdaughter, Elizabeth (Jon) Johansen; and sons, Robert (Valerie) Flood, and Christopher (Allison) Carter; 17 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Frank Loving and Ollie Hall. 

A celebration of life was held April 3, 2019, at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc, in Middletown, with Pastor Agnes Saffoury officiating.

Mary Law Moody

Mary Law Moody, 85, of LaGrangeville, N.Y., died March 28, 2019, at the Hospice Center in Danbury, Conn. She was the second child of Ruby Faye Camp Law and Ashley Taswell Law, and was born on January 2, 1934, on her maternal grandparents’ farm in northeast Louisiana.

Moody grew up in Louisiana towns where her father served Methodist churches. She graduated from high school as the valedictorian in Welsh, LA, and from Newcomb College of Tulane University in New Orleans, where she was a psychology and elementary education major. She taught school in Virginia, Vermont and New York, where she was a substitute teacher in the Arlington School District. She served for 20 years as director of volunteer services at Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

She was actively involved in community organizations, particularly the Girl Scouts, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val Kill, the Volunteer Services Program at Saint Francis and the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley. Moody participated in CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk for Hunger for 42 years. In 2018, she was the fourth most productive walker in the national CROP Walk.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Rev. Frank Kennon Moody, who was pastor at Trinity UMC in LaGrangeville from 1964 to 1970. From 1970 on, he served in extension ministry in various capacities until his retirement as dean of student services at Dutchess Community College in 1997.

Moody is also survived by her children, David Kennon (Eileen Guilfoyle) Moody of New York City, and Laura Anne Moody (Daniel) Hoskins of Brattleboro, Vt.; grandchildren, Sophie and Gus Moody, and Jacob Min Ho and Madeleine Mary Hoskins; a nephew, five nieces and 12 cousins. She was predeceased by two sisters, Ruth and Sarah, and two brothers, John Paul and James Thomas.

A memorial service was held April 13 at Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church, Route 55, LaGrangeville. Burial of ashes will be at the convenience of family at the cemetery of Trinity UMC in LaGrangeville.

In lieu of flowers, support is encouraged for Dutchess Outreach, 29 N. Hamilton Street, Suite 222, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 or a worthy charity of one’s choice.

Barbara Bauer

Barbara Bauer, 83, of Naugatuck, Conn., died March 16, 2019; she was the widow of Rev. Roger L. Bauer.

Bauer was born on October 28, 1935, in Derby, Conn., the daughter of Theodore and Mary Vazur Amalavage. She worked as a nurse for the Naugatuck Visiting Nurse Association, and attended the Naugatuck United Methodist Church.

In 1978, she married Reverend Roger Bauer, who served churches in the New York Conference for more than 30 years, including Kensington, Conn., Goodsell UMC in Brooklyn, Richmond Hill United and Ozone Park in Queens, St. Paul’s UMC in Northport, N.Y., and Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He retired in 1998, serving First UMC of Thomaston, Conn., and Westville UMC in New Haven. He died in 2007.

Bauer is survived by her sister, Lorraine Amalavage of Seymour, Conn.; step-children, Leslie Egensteiner (Warren) of Shelton, Conn.; Colleen Bauer of Gainesville, Ga.; Roger Donovan Bauer of New Mexico; and Adam Thomas (Deb) Bauer of Waterbury, Conn., eight step-grandchildren, Jennifer, Art, Matthew, Stephanie, Aaron, Sierra, Lashay and Crystal; and seven great-step-grandchildren. Bauer was predeceased by a sister, Janet Amalavage.

A memorial service was held April 9 at the Jenkins King and Malerba Funeral Home in Ansonia, Conn.

Rev. Rosemary A. Smith

The Reverend Rosemary A. Smith of Hampton, N.H., died March 14, 2019.

Smith was born in New Bedford, Mass., on January 1, 1939, the daughter of William E. and Frances (Nickerson) Athearn. She was a graduate of Colby College and Drew University, where she received her master of divinity degree. She served New York Conference churches in Cold Spring and South Highland, and Monticello, all in New York. Smith retired in 2001 and moved to New Hampshire.

She was a member of the Hampton UMC and the United Methodist Women. She was also an active member of P.E.O., which promotes educational opportunities for women.

Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Don Smith of Hampton; children, Stephen (Danielle) Smith of Webster, N.H., and Karen (John) Oles of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.; her sister, Suzanne (Burton) Hyman of Bedford, N.H.; and her grandchildren, Ryan, Alexcia, Kristen and Kimberly. 

A service of celebration was held March 23, 2019 at the Hampton UMC, 525 Lafayette Road, Hampton, N.H.

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