AC22: Preachers' Aid Society hosts annual Clergy Luncheon
June 08, 2022
When the Preachers’ Aid Society of New England (PAS) hosted its 2022 Clergy Luncheon on Wednesday, June 8, in Manchester, NH, it had been three years since the previous event.
President of the PAS Board of Directors Paul Parks, Jr., welcomed everyone saying: “It’s nice to see faces again. I know we’re probably going to hear that over and over again, but it really is … it’s a blessing for us to be together.”
PAS Executive Director Wes Palmer acknowledged that it might feel a bit strange for folks after three years.
“If at any point you start to realize that you’re with a large group of real people and you start to get nervous,” he said, “I want you to make your fingers into a little frame and put them around whoever’s speaking and it’ll feel just like you’re on Zoom.”
The lunch celebrates clergy transitioning to retirement, those marking the 50thanniversary of their ordination, and those who will be ordained as elders at this Annual Conference.
Rev. Rachel Fisher, co-chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, in her greetings on behalf of BOM, said the transition is not unlike a graduation.
“When you think of [graduates], you think of them going into a new season, and that’s what you’re doing as well,” she said. “We look forward to seeing how you’re going to continue to bless us now that you’re in the role of the wise elder who gets to encourage mid-career people like myself and especially our ordinands, especially our newest clergy. I look forward to watching the passing of the mantel Friday morning – filled with significance – the blessing of one generation to the next.”
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar brought greetings for what is likely to be the last time as resident bishop. In acknowledgement of his service to New England and “your support of our ministry and our partnership,” the PAS donated $5,000 to the Pastors Respite Fund initiated by the bishop to help clergy who need a break to care for family or health needs.
“Friends, personally, [Prema and I] are deeply touched by your generous gift for the fund and for your continued support for clergy in their difficult times,” Bishop Devadhar said.
“Thanks be to God for the leadership of the PAS, who has walked the extra mile to help us move forward in the midst of our challenges and pains,” the bishop said. “Thanks be to God for each and every one of you for giving faithful leadership in guiding all the people of God in this turbulent time.”
PAS also takes this time to announce the Blaine and Lois Taylor Fellowship Award honorees. The Taylor Fellowships are awarded to retired clergy. (Learn more about the Fellowships). There are no Lifetime of Discipleship honorees this year.
There have been a total of 65 Taylor Fellowships awarded since 1995. This year’s honorees, who each received $9,000 are:
In offering a prayer after the award presentation, Rev. John Taylor offered thanks to God for
“all the clergy through the years, for those who served tirelessly for years and years and years and that the Taylor Fellowship can offer a token of gratitude and help. And we thank you for my dad’s memory, that he thought of those who would retire and not have the means to live out dreams.”
John Blackadar served churches in Salem and North Salem, NH, Ayer’s Village, MA, Groveton, Stratford, Stark, Dover, Keene and Marlow, NH. He went on to serve as the Conference Administrative Coordinator and ended his active ministry as the NH District Superintendent and he retired in 2010. John also served for many years as Conference Secretary; he retired from that role in 2021. John and his wife, Rita, live in Bow, NH. They will be using the fellowship to help install solar panels at their home.
Pat MacHugh served churches in Corinna, Dixmont, Troy, and Houlton, Maine, Williamstown, North Adams, and Weston MA and Cape Porpoise, ME. From 2008-2015, she served as the Northern Maine District Superintendent. Pat retired in 2021. She and her husband, Robert, live in Huntersville, NC. They will be using the fellowship to upgrade their retirement home and to spend a month in Scotland.
Steven Notis served churches in Clinton and Cape Elizabeth, ME, Old South in Reading, MA, and Hampton,
NH. Steve is retiring this year. He and his wife, Deborah, live in Newburyport, MA. They will be using the fellowship to travel to Greece, Steve’s ancestral home.
Valerie Roberts-Toler served churches in Shrewsbury, MA, Portland, Moodus, and Mansfield, CT, and Lenox, Westfield and Whitinsville, MA. She retired in 2019. She and her husband, Printice, live in Gloucester, MA.
Valerie is sharing her fellowship with her colleague Kathryn Johnson. Their plan is to take a trip to Sedona, AZ.
Dr. MacHugh and Rev. Notis were unable to attend the lunch. Watch for videos from them on the PAS Facebook page.
Since the PAS had not hosted a luncheon since 2019, the retiree and ordinand classes of 2020 and 2021 were also recognized. This year’s classes are:
Clergy retiring in 2022
Mirna Concepcion de Rodriguez
Kathryn (Joy) Toll-Chandler
Clergy celebrating 50 years of ordination
Rev. Joanne M. Berlin
Rev. John W. Folley
Rev. Marjorie L. Hiles
Rev. Bruce R. Hudson
Rev. James L. Kanuck
Rev. James D. Lundin
Rev. Bruce McDonald
Rev. JongSun Park
Rev. Erik Smith
Rev. John W. Troy
Sara Taylor Garrard
Jennifer Larson Mihok
Adam Paul Randazzo