Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar visited the Commonwealth East District on Sept. 16 as part of his 2021 Days on the District. The event, which was a hybrid of in-person and online participation, was hosted by the Aldersgate UMC in North Reading, MA.
The evening opened with music, and host pastor Rev. Rachel Fisher said the church had just agreed to allow in-person singing with masks, but had not yet had a chance to do it.
“That was amazing, because there’s nobody better to sing with than a whole lot of clergy and some lot of lay people,” Rev. Fisher said. “Clergy sing together better than anybody I know. Thank you so much; it brought tears.”
Following some opening remarks, the bishop took questions from the audience. Many of the questions centered around the bankruptcy of the Boy Scouts of America and how that might affect churches that are chartering organizations for the Scouts.
Bishop Devadhar said that there are still many unknowns, but assured attendees, “We are a connectional church. We will not leave any church on its own.”
He added, “I want to say this, friends, the church has to stand on the side of the victims.”
Find information about the BSA bankruptcy from Conference Chancellor William Hewig here
The bishop was asked what the conference’s position would be if asked to resettle Afghan refugees in our region.
“Go for it. Embrace them and do everything in your power to make them feel at home,” Bishop Devadhar said.
The bishop commended the United Methodist Foundation of New England and New England JFON for the creation of a matching fund to support folks settling in New England. Learn more about that here
The next District Day is Sept. 30 in the Seacoast District. Find the full schedule here