Bishop Devadhar appoints DCM

June 13, 2021


Beloved in Christ:
Greetings in the precious and matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As I announced last month, Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson will step down as Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop as of July 1, 2021.
Realizing that I will only be your resident bishop until Dec. 31, 2022, I have chosen to appoint a part-time Director of Connectional Ministries but will not be appointing an Assistant to the Bishop at this time. The responsibilities of the Assistant to the Bishop will be taken care of by other episcopal office staff and consultants as needed. 

I am excited to announce the appointment of Rev. Ashley Renée Johnson as our part-time Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM).

Ashley was just commissioned as a provisional deacon at today's  Annual Conference. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Order of Deacons, I am very excited about Ashley bringing her presence and perspective as a young deacon to the position of DCM and to the Extended Cabinet table as well as to the many Conference committees on which she will serve.

I first met Ashley when she traveled to Taizé with me in 2013, which was also the approximate time she heard the call to ordained ministry with greater clarity. Ashley returned to school and graduated from Boston University School of Theology with a Master of Theological Studies degree in 2017. Her current appointment is to the Epiphany School in Dorchester, MA, and Union Church Boston.

As both a teacher and a person of faith, it is Ashley’s intention to always cultivate communities of mutual care, and she has had the pleasure of doing this work as an elementary school teacher for over eleven years. Her mission in life is to help people, especially young people of color, to flourish. 

Ashley is an articulate, passionate and hardworking team player. She has a firm understanding of The United Methodist Church connectional structure and the global community. I have witnessed her in various public speaking and leadership roles, and many of you may remember her powerful laity address at the 2016 Annual Conference.

Knowing what it is like to be embraced by life and overwhelmed by the love of God, she feels compelled to live a life that speaks, through words and actions, messages of hope and love. She is called to listen with others for the voice of the Divine, so we may courageously respond and work towards greater peace and justice in our communities.
This decision has no financial implications for the Conference and will give the incoming Bishop an opportunity to make an appointment to suit his/her needs and those of the New England Conference.
As we welcome Ashley to the conference staff, let us hold both she and Erica and their loved ones in our prayers during this time of transition.

In Christ's love, 

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar