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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Retirees, ordinands, cabinet, and new appointments celebrated at the Service of Blessing and Anointing

    June 8, 2019 / By Shannon Hodson

    At the Service of Blessing and Anointing on June 7 at the tenth session of Upper New York Annual Conference, 33 retirees were recognized, as were eight ordinands.

    The Rev. Carmen Perry announced the retirees, who walked to the stage and were thanked personally by Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb.

    “Let’s applaud these retirees for their service, which totals 875 years,” Rev Perry said.

    Click here to see the full list of retirees and watch videos submitted by some of them.

    During the Service of Blessing and Anointing, the Conference Cane was transferred for the first time since the formation of the Upper New York. The Rev. Matt Stengel announced that the Conference Cane would be presented to the Rev. Bradley Havens, who recently turned 100. The previous holder of the cane, the Rev. Donald Modisher, passed away on Oct. 27, 2018.

    When presenting this year’s ordinands, Bishop Webb said, “I had the privilege of spending a day with [these individuals] in retreat, and conversation, and worship, and I was blessed to hear their call stories, not their calls to become pastors, but their calls to follow Jesus. These are radical followers of Jesus. They are people who will help the church go deeper.”

    Upper New York Conference Lay Leader Susan Hardy, Bishop Webb, and Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball – the Resident Bishop of the West Virginia Conference who will serve as this year’s speaker for the Service of Commissioning and Ordination – asked the ordinands the historical questions of John Wesley.

    Introducing the Cabinet, Bishop Webb said, “I want to tell you who they are to me – they are my family. They are the ones who are your biggest cheerleaders … they have your best interest always. They make mistakes. Here’s a news flash: so do I. Here’s a news flash: so do you.”

    The Rev. Dr. Sherri Rood was recognized for her eight years of service as the Cornerstone District Superintendent.

    “She has been a gift to me and a gift to you,” said Bishop Webb. In recognizing that the Rev. Suzanne Block will replace Rev. Rood, he said, “It’s a sorrow to say goodbye to Sherri and a blessing to say hello to Suzanne.”

    Each district superintendent announced the new appointments in their district.

    The Rev. Drew Sperry and the Rev. Heather Williams shared a litany to set the new appointments, affirming, “We stand together in prayer, moving beyond our comfort zones, embracing the movement of the Holy Spirit into new places with new neighbors as we share Christ’s gospel of love with all.”

    Retirees, ordinands, and all others attending the service were invited to be blessed and anointed with oil. During the blessing and the anointing, InsideOut beautifully belted out the song You Say by Jason Ingram, Lauren Daigle, and Paul Mabury and then transitioned into a softer Who You Say I Am by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan.

    The service ended with the song Thrive, by Mark Hall and Matthew West. Everyone in attendance stood and many danced, clapping through the chorus, “Joy unspeakable, Faith unsinkable, Love unstoppable, Anything is possible!”

    TAGGED / Annual Conference 2019


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."