January 31, 2020
Beloved in Christ:
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is with a deep sense of loss, yet great appreciation of his gifts, that I share with you that the Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster III will be leaving his role as Superintendent of the Rhode Island/Southeastern Massachusetts (RISEM) District.
In 2017, the Holy Spirit led me to call Dr. Foster from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference to join my Cabinet. I will be eternally grateful for his faithfulness to that call and his leadership among us.
Now the winds of the Spirit are calling Dr. Foster back to Eastern Pennsylvania where Bishop Peggy Johnson intends to appoint him as Superintendent of the East District, effective July 1, 2020. Read the announcement from Bishop Johnson.
Dr. Foster had shared with me that he had been in a long period of discernment, through prayer and fasting with his wife, wrestling with the desire to return to Pennsylvania. Read Dr. Foster’s farewell message.
While I recognize the depth of this loss to New England, and especially the RISEM District, I will not block the
Spirit’s moving in this decision. I am grateful that my episcopal colleague will also recognize Dr. Foster’s gifts as a superintendent.
I trust that Dr. Foster and Pastor Lorraine V. Foster, who serves the Epworth UMC in Pawtucket, RI, will go with God into this new season of ministry, having served us so well in such a time as this.
Dr. Foster brought a personal connection to the role of superintendency, meeting regularly with the pastors and lay leaders on the district. He regularly visited and preached in congregations. In his two plus years, he raised connectional giving in the district. His leadership and grace-filled presence have strengthened our Cabinet as well as other boards on which he serves.
I am grateful that Dr. Foster will be able to use the gifts he brought to the RISEM District to further strengthen our connection.
I trust that God will be with us as we mold and shape a new configuration of districts in New England to fulfill our shared mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Kindly keep Andrew, Lorraine, and their family as well as the Cabinet and the RISEM District pastors and congregations in your prayers.
In Christ’s Love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar