Dear Sisters and Brothers of the New York Annual Conference,
Grace and peace to you! It is with great joy that I share some very good news!
After consultation with the District Superintendents, I will present Margaret Howe for election as Conference Secretary at our upcoming Annual Conference session. I can’t imagine a more qualified person for this position, or a person more committed to the mission and ministry of the United Methodist Church.
Margaret has served the church on local, district and conference levels. She is a member of New Paltz United Methodist Church and serves as the church treasurer. As a certified Lay Servant, she assists in leading worship and preaching. She also co-teaches a class with her pastor, Rev. Bette Sohm, in the Rising Hope Ministry Program at Woodbourne Correctional Facility.
On the Catskill Hudson District she serves as one of four District Lay Leaders, as District Statistician, as a trainer in the stewardship/finance area, and has been a frequent guest leader in the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program.
On the conference level, Margaret is a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry and served on the Council of Finance and Administration from 2004-2012. She is currently chair of the Personnel Committee, but will resign from this position once she is elected Conference Secretary.
She is a wife, mother and grandmother and says of these roles, “what wonderful experiences and challenges.” She retired after a 30 year career from NYNEX (Verizon). She says of retirement, “In my retirement I have found great joy in working for the United Methodist Church—I believe that is where I am called.” Margaret wants to “make a difference” in her retirement and she certainly already has!
Margaret will be succeeding the Rev. Fred Jackson, who has done a remarkable job for the past four years as Conference Secretary. Not only has he made the announcements at Annual Conference with wit and humor, his obituaries are beautifully crafted tributes to those who have joined the Church Triumphant. Fred retired from the NYAC in 2010 after a distinguished pastoral career, serving churches in Stratford, Poughkeepsie, Hicksville, Norwalk, Catskill and Kensington. Fred has also served on many conference committees including the Board of Ordained Ministry, Conference Sessions, Rules Committee and CF&A. Fred will be missed!
At Annual Conference we will say to Fred, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” To Margaret we will say, “Welcome!” How blessed we are to have two such gifted persons serving God through the New York Annual Conference!
In Christ’s love,
Bishop Jane Allen Middleton