New England hosted the 2019 Northeastern Jurisdictional Volunteers in Mission & Disaster Academy April 1-4, 2019 at Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in N Andover, MA.
Attendees came from every conference in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which spans from Maine to West Virginia, representing 12 states and the District of Columbia.
The Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop, brought greetings and a welcome from Bishop Devadhar during the opening breakfast.
Speakers from the New England Conference included:
- Rev. Doug Robinson-Johnson and Rev. Samantha Cowan of the United Parish of Auburndale in Newton, MA, who led a session on mission in an Interfaith and multi-cultural context.
- Conference Director of Congregational Development Rick McKinley, who gave a talk titled “Good Things Run Wild – Creating a Missional Culture.”
- and Rev. Gary Richards, NE JFON Board Chair, and attorney Camila Valenzuela, who led a session about Justice for Our Neighbors.
There were also hands-on construction skills training sessions. Skilling Up was led by Rev. Steve Murray, lead pastor of Rock Church Ministries in Plaistow, NH, and staffed by one of the church’s active mission volunteers David Tuttle, along with Conference Treasurer Bill Burnside, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator & NEJ UMVIM Board chair Barbara Burnside, Angela Overstreet, UMCOR consultant on ERT, and UMCOR Program Manager Greg Ellis.