Open Spirit Task Force meets, names leadership

August 20, 2019

In June, the 2019 Annual Conference approved creation of the Open Spirit Task Force (OSTF), the purpose of which is "to examine whether and how United Methodists of New England might align with, create, or form a new church body in the Methodist tradition (independently or in collaboration with others)."
The OSTF met for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, at the Conference offices in Methuen, MA. Thirty-three members were selected by the Committee on Leadership/Nominations and two were designated by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar.
At its first meeting, Dr. Adama Brown-Hathaway, who serves as Minister of Connection and Care at Union UMC in Boston, and the Rev. Dr. Hope Luckie, pastor at Crawford Memorial UMC in Winchester, MA, were named co-chairs of the task force.
Rev. Ashley Murphy, serving as a deacon at Carter Memorial UMC in Needham, MA, was named secretary. The Rev. Jinwoo Chun, serving Belfast (ME) UMC, and the Rev. Dr. Marcelo Gomes, serving Lee Memorial in Norwich, CT, were named representatives to the steering committee.
Conference Lay Leader Rene Wilbur and Vermont District Superintendent Jill Colley Robinson, Dean of the Cabinet, will serve as advisors along with the Rev. Dr. Jay Williams, lead pastor at Union UMC and head of the New England Delegation to the 2020 General Conference and Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference.
Find a list of task force members on our website at
Members also created working teams for the following areas:
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Legal/Ethics/Structure
  • Options/Organization
  • Theology/Spirituality
Find the list of team members, leaders and secretaries here

The OSTF will meet via teleconference in mid-October, and is planning a retreat for January 2020.

“The focus of the retreat will be to bring all of our conversations, questions, concerns and recommendations to the same table and to begin to Dream a New Methodism for New England,” writes Dr. Luckie.
Watch our e-newsletter for regular updates on the work of the Open Spirit Task Force.