Here’s what happened at Annual Conference on Friday, June 10, 2022: See more photos in the gallery at right. Thanks to Galen Schad and Rev. Wanda Santos-Perez for their photos.
Friday Bible Study: "How do you see God?"
Despite the early hour, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling’s Bible study was filled and overflowing. The study was not available online, but you can hear directly from Bishop Easterling in this video titled “Exploring the Nature of God.”
Preparation materials suggested by Bishop Easterling: For Friday’s study: Read the article John Wesley on the Character of God by James Pedlar, plus the following scriptures: Genesis 2:4b-9; Genesis 3:1-13a and 21; John 1:14-18; 1 Corinthians 13.
Bishop Easterling explained why this exploration is so critical; click the link to listen:
Bishop Easterling began her sermon for the morning worship by offering a number of definitions for the word “envision.” She asked: “Do you notice something about all these definitions? They are all prospective. It’s good to have a vision …”
She quoted Proverbs 29:18, which says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
But vision is not enough, Bishop Easterling said.
“For visions to have import, they must become our reality. It is good to envision the beloved community, it will be even more blessed when we become … when we are … the beloved community.” Watch
Licensed Local Pastors
Licensed local pastors were presented with their certificates and anointed by Bishop Devadhar and Bishop Easterling. Watch
The New England Conference’s newest Deaconess, Ginifir Giddinge, was commissioned by Bishop Devadhar and Bishop Easterling. Watch
Certified Lay Ministers
Each district recognized their newest Certified Lay Ministers. Watch
Historical questions and passing of the mantle
The bishop asked the 2022 Ordinands the historical questions posed by John Wesley Watch
Rev. Bruce Arbour and Rev. Kathryn "Joy" Toll-Chandler represented the class of 2022 retirees as they “passed the mantel” to the ordinands. Watch
This year’s retirees, who represent more than 534 years of combined service, were also recognized. Watch
Rev. Effie McAvoy is the 2022 Zeigler Preacher. Rev. McAvoy serves Shepherd of the Valley UMC in Hope, RI.
The Wilbur C. Ziegler Award for Excellence in Preaching Award is presented each to a person who demonstrates excellence in preaching the whole Gospel, addressing both personal and social salvation. The recipient of the award is invited to preach at the Annual Conference session.
“There is a balm in Gilead … and I wonder, Where is that healing ointment for us right now?”
But she said, “even in my lack of faith, I still have faith that God is going to … and God is doing … a new thing in New England. There’s hope. There’s always hope. You must lead the people with hope,” Rev. McAvoy said, crediting that thought to one of her teachers, the late Rev. Dr. Seth Asari. Read the full sermon Watch
$3,907 for Camperships
$6,485 for the Pastors Respite Fund
Consent Calendar – approved RS-22-207 PROPOSED SLATE FOR ELECTION OF CONFERENCE OFFICERS Approved with these announced changes:
Remove: Arlene Tully from Episcopacy Committee
Remove: Christina Catino from Higher Education & Campus Ministries
Add: Jennifer Mihok to Episcopacy Committee
The bishop noted that the slate can be changed by the Committee on Leadership/Nominations at any time up until the publication of the 2022 Journal.
RS-22-217 — PROPERTY RESOLUTION – withdrawn
RS-22-218 — RETAIN LEGAL COUNSEL TO CREATE TRUST – approved
In the June 7 Addendum to the Pre-Conference Materials, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration revised its initial response to the resolution (published in the May 19 Addendum) and offered the resolution its full support.
RS-22-224 — NEC STRATEGIC SERVICES AND REINVESTMENT – approved See a graphic on this legislation
Rev. We Chang, one of the presenters of the motion, said that a majority of the proceeds from the sale of Wesley UMC in Framingham, MA, would serve as seed money. The congregations of Wesley and Framingham’s First UMC have agreed to worship together.
RS-22-225 REGARDING THE HISTORY OF REDLINING, RACE COVENANTS, AND SUNDOWN
TOWNS IN NEW ENGLAND – approved RS-22-227 — PROCEDURE FOR DISCERNMENT ABOUT DISAFFILIATION – approved
RS-22-228 — COMMITMENT TO LOVE, LIBERATION, FREEDOM, AND FULL INCLUSION
THE NEW ENGLAND DECLARATION Approved with the following amendment (in italics) to page 110, line 30:
All conference entities shall report back to the 2023 annual conference session with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound, inclusive, and equitable (S.M.A.R.T.I.E) goals on progress in living out this Declaration on a report form provided to them by the end of 2022.
RS-22-230 — Election of UM Foundation of New England Board of Directors – approved RS-22-229 — RENEWING VISION AS THE NEW ENGLAND CONFERENCE – approved
REPORTS ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2022: OPEN SPIRIT TASK FORCE REPORT (page 31, Pre-Conference Materials) – By unanimous consent of the body, the recommendations will be forwarded to Vision Forward Team
Camping and Retreat Ministries
Larry Jay, executive director at Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in N. Andover, MA, gave a report on behalf of the NEAC’s Camping and Retreat Ministries.
“Not only have we survived the pandemic; we are thriving,” Jay said, and the Conference’s four camps are “finding new opportunities.”
Camp Aldersgate, North Scituate, RI
Camp Mechuwana, Winthrop, ME
Wanakee, Meredith, NH Watch the video
Bishop’s retirement Watch for a story and photos coming shortly
The day closed with the “Celebration of Episcopal Leadership” as the New England Conference thanked Bishop and Prema Devadhar for their 10 years of service. A number of in-person and via-video guests offered blessings and fond memories as they looked back at the Bishop’s episcopal ministry. Watch