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“Wisdom” from the new D.S.

DS Rev. Foster’s Monthly Devotional for August

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Greetings RISEM District…
Below is a District Devotional that can be shared with your leadership or small group ministries… The Devotional is adapted from “Dare2B Wise” by Joe White and Kelli Stuart.  Enjoy…
August 2017 – Wise Up
Read Together: “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.”  Proverbs 1:1-6
An older bumper sticker that was popular in Texas read, “If you don’t have an oil well, get one!”  The obvious joke was that everyone would like to have an oil well, but getting one is a lot easier said than done.  The message of the book of Proverbs is similar:  If you don’t have wisdom, get some!  But unlike the bumper sticker, the message of Proverbs is no joke.  And unlike the humorous slogan, Proverbs doesn’t tell you to get something – without telling you how.
The highest goal you can set for yourself, the best use you can make of your time and the smartest choice you can make in life is to follow the advice of Proverbs and get wisdom.  But what is wisdom?  The meaning of that word is fuzzy, isn’t it?  That’s because people use the word wisdom to mean all sorts of different things.  In the Bible, the word means the skill to live God’s way.  It comes through gaining understanding about how God wants you to live and then applying that understanding by putting it into practice in your daily life, if you do that over the course of your life, you’ll be wise!  And being wise is better than being rich, popular, and famous, a great athlete, or any of the other earthly goals we set for ourselves.  So, if you want to get wisdom, where do you start?  Next month, we’ll look at the first step on the exciting, lifelong journey of becoming wise.
Discussion Starters:  What does wisdom mean to you?  How is being wise different from being smart?  Why do you think it’s important to God that we get wisdom?
Lifeline:  Pray that God will give you wisdom as you study together as a family/church/district and ask him to help you apply the things you learn in your daily life.
Reflections:
Let us seek God’s wisdom for our local church, our district, and our conference.

Blessings Always, (Numbers 6:24-26)

Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III.
RISEM District Superintendent

 

 

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The New England Conference

Our District Contact Info

District Superintendent
Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster III

 

Administrative Assistant

 

Mrs. Susan Leatherwood

 

Lay Leaders

 

Dan Genannt and Darin Krum

 

Address

 

12 Bay Spring Avenue
Barrington, RI 02806

 

Office Phone

 

(401) 246-1100

 

Email

 

Lia Kahler & Friends Concert

Save the date:  September 10.  Silent Auction at 2.  Concert at 3.

Lia Kahler & Friends

Lia Kahler, mezzo-soprano; Philip Dietterich, organ; and Richard Gordon, piano. Songs, arias and spirituals with solos for piano and organ. Silent Auction starts at 2 p.m. and the concert at 3 p.m.

Benefits Island Clergy Homeless Fund and Chilmark Community Church.Lia Kahler SS

Rising Tide Therapeudic Horse Program

Rising Tide Expands Equestrian Programs

On a recent afternoon, five people tended to Noble, a 27-year-old, large gray Percheron cross horse, in the barn at Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center in West Tisbury. While 10 hands weren’t necessary to prepare Noble for an upcoming riding lesson, his pull drew everyone in the barn.

Volunteer Ashley Loehn brushed his coat.

“You get the benefit of the connection while you’re doing it,” she said. “You can’t take your hands off of them once you’ve started, you know, and that’s their magic.”

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Sally Snipes and Ashley Loehn. — Maria Thibodeau

Rising Tide’s mission is rooted in the idea that everyone can benefit from this ineffable connection between humans and horses. In keeping with this belief, the center recently expanded their programming.

Founded in 2007 by Vicky Thurber as a therapeutic barn, Rising Tide’s operations previously catered primarily to riders with disabilities. Now they have a wide variety of offerings for riders of all experience levels and abilities.

Hot to Trot is a recent addition for riders aged 55 and over. A Hatha yoga program will incorporate horses in both mounted and un-mounted poses. Trail rides and private and semi-private lessons are available to all.

“It’s not just for people who need special solutions in their lives . . . it’s for everyone, and our horses are able to give to everyone, which is what makes them remarkable,” said program director Linda Wanamaker.

Ms. Wanamaker is certified as a therapeutic riding instructor. She said horses have the ability to mirror the energy of those around them. To approach and interact with horses, riders have to settle themselves first. “So it helps you to center yourself, to calm yourself,” she said.

Lucy Menton said Rising Tide is a unique light in her son John’s life. John is 34 and has schizophrenia.

“He shuffled around to different group homes and day programs and never really fit in,” Ms. Menton said. She found Rising Tide in 2015 and John got involved shortly after. He volunteers twice a week.

“For 34 years he’s had nothing. But this program, just him going a couple days a week and volunteering with these gentle horses . . . has totally changed his life,” Ms. Menton said.

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Linda Wanamaker, Joan Richards, and Susan Fieldsmith. — Maria Thibodeau

Frances Pizzella feels similarly. Ms. Pizzella started volunteering at Rising Tide in January 2016 because she rode horses as a child and wanted to reintroduce them to her life.

“I go out there, I’m scooping poop, it’s happy, I’m happy to do it,” she said.

In August, she began taking riding lessons with Ms. Wanamaker.

“I started to feel what the riders were feeling, just like a sense of accomplishment, and really just becoming close to the animals,” she said.

She added that riding and volunteering at Rising Tide helped with her winter blues. “In riding them, they’re protecting and helping you out. I just started feeling such a sense of trust with the animals, and I just wanted to be over there more and more, helping with the animals.” It’s hard to explain, she added, but the animals have a calming, non-judgmental presence that she finds incredibly relaxing.

Staff and volunteers at Rising Tide have countless stories about the healing powers of the five equines in their stables: a nonverbal autistic child spoke her first words on horseback, riding helped a grieving woman through her loss.

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Staff and volunteers have countless stories about the healing powers of their horses. — Maria Thibodeau

For those with physical disabilities, Ms. Wanamaker says the movement of horses is most similar to walking. She pairs riders with horses based on their unique physical needs. Camp Jabberwocky sends groups to the barn each summer. Rising Tide also works with groups from Windemere and the Center for Living.

To keep up with the center’s expanding programming, they have begun a series of fundraising events this summer. On Saturday, July 15 a Rock Your Boots event held at the Sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be live music, dancing, auctions, food and drink. Tickets are $70.

“We can’t offer what we want to offer without outside funding,” said board president Susan Fieldsmith, looking out at the arena.

Noble was in the ring with 10-year-old Emily Gilley on his back. Emily was just starting to get the hang of trotting — a big accomplishment for her. All eyes followed the pair as they kicked up dusty circles together.

For more information, visit risingtidetec.org.

Fall Work Day a success

Gutters on Fellowship Hall cleaned:  Pam and Clark Goff and Julie Flanders

Terrace shrubs pruned: Katy Upson

Terrace raked:  Kathie Carroll and Pam

Leaves Blown off driveway and handicapped ramp:  Tim Carroll

N.E. boundary walls weed whacked: Clark

MORE LEAVES TO HANDLE.  “One Day at a Time”.

Letter from the Bishop November 12,2016

A message from Bishop Devadhar

 

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Nov. 12, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

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

Just last Monday, I wrote you a letter in which I quoted John Wesley’s words from Oct. 6, 1774:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1) To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; 2) to speak no evil of the person they voted against; and, 3) to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

Wesley’s words are no less pertinent after the voting is done. The results of this election have brought a wide range of responses and emotions. We, United Methodists, were divided before the election, and we continue to be divided now. I have heard from many people this week expressing fear, distrust, disappointment, and anger as well as joy and hope. I have been in prayer for all of us during this emotional week.

In the midst of our differences and feelings, let us remember the words of Paul who said, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

May we hold our elected officials and leaders across the nation and each other in prayer as we strive to uphold the principles Jesus shared with us. As builders of community, peace makers and seekers of justice for all, let us continue our work and be beacons of light across New England and beyond.

Tomorrow as we gather together for worship, may we reflect on the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.
In Christ’s love,


Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar


 

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Bishop’s Office

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar

Erica Robinson-Johnson Assistant to the Bishop/DCM Phone: (978) 682-7555 ext. 251
erica@neumc.org

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BishopsOffice@neumc.org

Transformed by the Holy Spirit, united in trust,
we will boldly proclaim Christ to the world.

Trend in part time pastors.

Click this link or read version below:  http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/part-time-pastors-claiming-more-pulpits

 

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Home / News & Media / Special Coverage / Part-time pastors claiming more pulpits
Part-time pastors claiming more pulpits
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Third in a 10-part series
By Sam Hodges
Sept. 28, 2015 | UMNS

The Rev. Mark Windley (right) prays with parishioner Jada Roarx at Amazing Grace Community of Faith in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

The Rev. Mark Windley (right) prays with parishioner Jada Roarx at Amazing Grace Community of Faith in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

The Rev. Mark Windley works full time and more as sales manager for an industrial supply and services company. When not working, he’s leading Amazing Grace Community of Faith, an African-American United Methodist church plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

Windley preaches. He also sets up chairs and checks the sound system.

The church has grown in worship attendance, but what it’s able to pay Windley doesn’t cover his mortgage payments.

Meanwhile, his workweek, with both jobs, can run to 70 hours.

“My wife would tell you I’m not sane,” Windley said, quickly adding that he feels peace and purpose in ministry.

More and more, The United Methodist Church is turning to part-time licensed local pastors like Windley to lead small churches in the United States.
Trending Local

Read profile of the Rev. Michael Funkhouser, a part-time local pastor and West Virginia’s 2013 Teacher of the Year.
Read the full series about growth of local pastors in The United Methodist Church

Many balance a full-time secular job with church work, and most don’t have a seminary degree. But they often bring workplace skills and a high level of commitment — and they work for less than full-time pastors.

So in a denomination that’s shrinking in the United States, part-time pastors represent a growing category.

“I’m not sure the denomination as a whole has opened their eyes to this,” said retired Bishop Alfred Gwinn, who chaired the 2008-2012 Ministry Study Commission. “We’re very dependent on part-time pastors.”

In Bisbee, Arizona, one of those part-time pastors is the Rev. Michele Kelley, a retiree from investment banking and private investigating who felt a call to ministry and now leads First United Methodist Church in Bisbee and Grace United Methodist Church in nearby Douglas.

“If First Bisbee closed, who would feed the people?” she asked, referring to a food bank she helped the church start in this impoverished area by the Mexico border.

In New Vienna, Ohio, the Rev. Sarah Chapman’s day job is doing social media for Charmin and Puffs, two Procter & Gamble products. For the last five years, she also has been part-time local pastor of New Vienna United Methodist Church.

She’s sure her business skills have helped her as she leads the 150-member rural church.

“I’m a really passionate advocate for bivocationality. I think there needs to be a ton more tentmakers,” Chapman said, referring to the occupation attributed to the Apostle Paul.

The Rev. Mark Windley, pastor of Amazing Grace Community of Faith in Louisville, Ky., is a sales executive and a licensed local pastor in The United Methodist Church.

*Click on the i in the upper left-hand corner above the slideshow to display caption information. To turn captions off, simply click on the caption.
View slideshow fullscreen»

Feeling the crunch

Most lead pastors continue to be full-time ordained elders who have earned a master of divinity degree at a United Methodist-approved seminary and passed through a provisional member elder phase. They are guaranteed a minimum salary, as well as health insurance, housing, utilities and retirement benefits.

Conferences vary in their minimum salaries, with most around $40,000. But the total package swells with benefits.

“In (the) Western Pennsylvania (Conference), it takes $90,000 to $95,000 for a local church to afford an elder,” said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who leads the conference. “That becomes a pretty expensive item for a local church.”

Meanwhile, The United Methodist Church in the United States has seen a gradual decline overall in membership and attendance. About 78 percent of U.S. churches averaged fewer than 100 in worship in 2013, up from 74 percent a decade earlier, according to the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration.

Many churches that small struggle to afford an elder, even one they might share with another small church, said the Rev. Lovett Weems, director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary.

Increasingly, those churches get appointed a part-time licensed local pastor, who is trained first in a licensing school, and then begins ministry while pursuing the Course of Study education program that the denomination requires such pastors to complete over 12 years.

Bickerton has seen the trend play out in his conference.

“It becomes inevitable that (small churches) are going to approach us and request a less-than-full-time position,” he said. “Over the last 10 years we have seen a doubling in the number of part-time local pastors.”

Denominational statistics show that from 2010 to 2015 the number of ordained elders and provisional member elders appointed to churches dropped from 15,806 to 14,614.

In that same period, the number of part-time local pastors grew from 4,261 to 5,178. Supply pastors — who typically serve small churches on a fill-in basis and include lay speakers and clergy from other denominations — grew from 1,163 to 1,849.

One factor in declining elder numbers is that retirements have outpaced newcomers. Another relevant statistic is that the overall number of United Methodist churches in the United States has declined, with closings running ahead of church starts.

But Bishop Kenneth Carter of the Florida Conference is among the denominational leaders who have witnessed a shift within the clergy ranks.

“The Florida Conference has historically been a region of larger churches,” Carter said. “And yet in many contexts, the resources of the local church cannot sustain salary and benefit structures of full-time elders.”

The Rev. Bill Masciangelo (right) prepares for a baptism at New Moyock United Methodist Church in Moyock, N.C. As a part-time local pastor, he’s led the church to growth and financial stability. Photo courtesy New Moyock United Methodist Church.

The Rev. Bill Masciangelo (right) prepares for a baptism at New Moyock United Methodist Church in Moyock, N.C. As a part-time local pastor, he’s led the church to growth and financial stability. Photo courtesy New Moyock United Methodist Church.

Cost savings and more

The changing reality can be seen with the Rev. Scott Masters and Asbury United Methodist Church in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.

Masters, an economist for an automotive manufacturer, is the first part-time licensed local pastor to serve Asbury. The church, which averages about 40 in worship, had long shared an elder with one or more other congregations. Asbury pays Masters $14,400 a year, and covers some of his expenses.

“I carry my own insurance, I pay for my own mortgage, and the church walks away in a better position,” he said.

Masters calls balancing two jobs and family life a “mega-challenge,” and notes that he uses a tape recorder to collect sermon ideas while commuting 45 minutes to his secular office.

He believes his church has become more self-reliant, knowing his time is limited; and he believes the savings on his salary has helped Asbury do more outreach ministry.

“We serve close to 10,000 people a year in food ministries,” Masters said. “It’s a small but incredibly busy place.”
The ‘local elder’ option

Currently, local pastors are licensed, not ordained. But some church leaders favor ordaining them as “local elders,” a term that has precedent within Methodism.

Read more»

New Moyock United Methodist Church in Moyock, North Carolina, is another church that’s led by a part-time local pastor after having long had ordained elders.

The church had been down in attendance and teetering financially, to the point that it considered selling its building. But under the Rev. Bill Masciangelo — who became a local pastor after careers in the U.S. Marines and the hospitality industry — regular attendance has doubled to about 110 and finances have stabilized.

“I’m just delighted with the way God’s worked,” Masciangelo said.

Masciangelo estimates he spends five to six hours a day on church work. He gets paid about $35,000, and doesn’t need the church’s help for housing or health insurance. At 70, he’s full of energy, to the point that he teaches kettlebell exercise routines at the YMCA.

The Rev. Gil Wise oversees Masciangelo as superintendent of the North Carolina Conference’s Beacon District, and confirms that the pastor is a bargain for New Moyock United Methodist. But he prefers to emphasize Masciangelo’s accomplishments.

“It’s a totally different church than when he arrived,” Wise said. “It’s grown on every front, including community involvement.”

Wise has other part-time pastors who he says have been an “incredible benefit” to churches. Fellow district superintendents agree that the case for such clergy goes beyond economics.

“This is probably a strong statement, but I would more quickly lose my elders than I would my local pastors,” said the Rev. Michael Estep, superintendent of the West Virginia Conference’s Potomac Highlands District.

Estep’s largely rural district last year had 152 churches but only 24 elders. It makes sense that he would be grateful for part-time local pastors and supply pastors.

But it’s more than that.

“Local pastors may not have a seminary education but many of them come to the ministry as a second career, and they may bring other educational experiences, and certainly their other work experiences,” he said. “They’re also familiar with the communities and the culture that is here.”
Both part-time licensed local pastors and supply pastors are growing categories in The United Methodist Church in the U.S., while elders have been declining in number. Source: GCFA

Both part-time licensed local pastors and supply pastors are growing categories in The United Methodist Church in the U.S., while elders have been declining in number. Data source: GCFA
Concerns about the clergy shift

But the Rev. William Lawrence, dean of Perkins School of Theology, worries about the growing dependence on part-time clergy.

He appreciates their commitment and acknowledges they are needed in many contexts. The United Methodist seminary he leads is a Course of Study site, with Perkins professors teaching classes.

But Lawrence believes Course of Study doesn’t come close to substituting for a master of divinity degree, and notes that many supply pastors don’t get much training at all.

“How are you going to be a serious contributor to discussions about end-of-life or beginning-of-life issues, matters of peace and war, economic and social justice, if you don’t have the educational background?” Lawrence said. “What we’re actually saying is that the people in that local church aren’t that important. … It concerns me enormously.”

The Rev. Jeremy Smith, an elder and blogger on United Methodist issues, is a fan of part-time pastors but notes that they tend not to be involved in conference committee work. As they have grown in number, that has led, in his view, to an erosion of “connectionalism” and less democratic decision-making.

And because they don’t enjoy security of appointment, as elders do, Smith sees them as less likely to be prophetic voices.

“I’m able to speak on issues of controversy,” Smith said. “I don’t worry about losing my job because of that. I think a local pastor may.”

The Rev. Debbie Williams is an X-ray technician and a licensed local pastor in The United Methodist Church.

*Click on the i in the upper left-hand corner above the slideshow to display caption information. To turn captions off, simply click on the caption.
View slideshow fullscreen»

Per diem pastor

But the Rev. Sky McCracken, superintendent of the Memphis Conference’s Purchase District, is a full-throated defender of part-time pastors, including on the question of depth.

“Some of the best sermons I’ve heard on Wesleyan theology have come from these guys and gals that are part-time clergy,” he said.

McCracken speaks with emotion of the part-time pastors he supervises, including the Rev. John Smithmier, who leads two small churches while working full time as a logistics manager for a company, or the Rev. Debbie Williams, who works nearly full time as a medical X-ray technician, and leads two small churches.

One of McCracken’s favorites is Laura Vincent, a county nurse in rural western Kentucky. She’s a certified lay servant, not a licensed local pastor. But she serves as part-time pastor of Oakton United Methodist Church and Shiloh United Methodist Church — combined membership of about 50 — for $180 a week total.

She’s preaching at both churches nearly every Sunday, driving 80 miles round trip. One of the churches is holding on, but the other has seen growth.

Both “absolutely love her,” McCracken said.

Vincent reciprocates.

“They’ve been so welcoming … The longer I’m there, the more I’m like, `OK, God. This is what you want me to do. Gotcha,'” she said.

Pastor Laura Vincent reads Scripture during worship at Shiloh United Methodist Church near Clinton, Ky. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Pastor Laura Vincent reads Scripture during worship at Shiloh United Methodist Church near Clinton, Ky. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

The Wesleyan way

Church leaders may disagree about whether increasing dependence on part-time pastors is good, but there’s little doubt the trend will intensify.

Weems, of the Lewis Center, notes that baby-boomer elders are continuing to retire at high rates and many more will retire soon, given that 55 percent of active elders are 55 years or older, the highest in denominational history. That, combined with more churches struggling to afford an elder, he thinks will boost part-time pastor numbers further.

The Oklahoma Conference leadership foresees that happening and has created a Bi-vocational Pastors Academy to groom 150 such clergy for small churches. Nearly 250 of the conference’s churches have budgets under $80,000 and can’t afford an elder even if one is available.

Nurse Laura Vincent serves two churches in rural western Kentucky, earning the love and trust of some 50 parishioners between the two congregations.

*Click on the i in the upper left-hand corner above the slideshow to display caption information. To turn captions off, simply click on the caption.
View slideshow fullscreen»

“We’re trying to find committed, trustworthy laity who are indigenous to the area, who do not see the church as a ‘career,’ but who follow Jesus and have a heart to help others know, love and follow him too,” said the Rev. B. Craig Stinson, director of connectional ministries.

The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, a Desert Southwest Conference superintendent and co-author of a book about church leadership, points out that John Wesley made pastors of lay people to spread the Methodist movement in the 18th century.

She thinks that Methodism, going forward, will need many such pastors again.

“It’s our past and our future both,” Escobedo-Frank said.

Hodges, a United Methodist News Service writer, lives in Dallas. Contact him at (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org
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Advent 2015

Greens party December 9..

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DECEMBER 12 LOBSTER ROLL AND CHRISTMAS SALE

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THE CREW

Judy Mayhew, Emily Broderick, Marilyn Hollinshead, Kathy Teel, Kim Cottrill, Kathie Carroll, (Pam Goff photographer)