On Saturday, June 16, 2018, the Preachers’ Aid Society of New England presented two Lifetime of Discipleship Awards, which recognize laity for “many years of dedicated service to the ministries, missions and prophetic callings of United Methodists in New England.”
“Honorees are committed servants of Christ within the New England Annual Conference and have made significant contributions of time and talent to Conference related activities.”
This year’s honorees are Clarice Gothberg from the Open Table of Christ UMC in Warwick, RI, and George Button from Hope UMC in Belchertown, MA.
Gothberg was nominated by her pastor, Sunmin Cho. From her nomination: Gothberg serves as president of the Rhode Island United Methodist Association and founded its youth choir. She has also been actively involved at the Conference’s Camp Aldersgate, where she started youth retreats for junior and senior high youth, organized VBS, and directed “Older Adult” camp week. She also served as a member of Ministry Team of the RI/Southeastern MA District. One of her supporting letters described Clarice as “the glue that holds Open Table of Christ together!”
Button was nominated by his pastor, Joy Toll-Chandler. From his nomination: Button has served on the Conference level as chair of the Division of Christian Education and as an Equalization member of Annual Conference; he also served as Dean and Assistant Dean of the Conference School of Christian Mission. He has been a District Lay Leader, and served on the District Nominating Committee, the District Committee on Superintendency, and on DCOM. He became a Certified Lay Minister in 2008. Button served as coordinator of the confirmation class at Hope UMC, and one of his supporting letters was from this year’s Confirmation class. Signed by all the students, the letter read: “Please give George this well-deserved award.”
In honor of this award, recipients are asked to designate a program/mission within the connectional structure of the New England Conference (including General Church and Conference Advance Specials) to receive a donation of $500. Gothberg designated UMCOR and Button designated New England Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON).