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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Clergy and clergy spouses remembered at AC2018 Memorial Service

    June 1, 2018 / By Shannon Hodson

    On May 31 at the 2018 Annual Conference session, a Memorial Service was held to honor Upper New York clergy members and clergy spouses who have passed away since the 2017 Annual Conference session.

    Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb introduced the service.

    “I hope you know that we have been praying for you, that we love you, and that we thank you for making sacrifices so that your loved one could share their service with us,” he said. “We mourn with you and celebrate with you.”

    After echoing Bishop Webb’s sentiments, the Rev. Corey Turnpenny, pastor of the Whitney Point UMC, delivered the message. She explained that clergy must be comfortable with death. She expressed how when calls come in that someone has died, she responds with empathy and compassion, but when she hangs up the phone, she sighs.

    “The sigh contains all the grief and sadness anyone feels when someone dies but also expresses the weight we bear when having to suddenly readjust schedules and prepare to lead another worship service that needs to be meaningful and healing in just a matter of days,” she said.

    Rev. Turnpenny shared the story of Lazarus’ death from the Gospel of John. She described how she can relate to Jesus not coming right away.

    “I totally get Mary and Martha’s frustration that Jesus didn’t come right away,” she said. “But I also get where Jesus was coming from. I wonder if he let out a deep sigh too when he heard the news.”

    When Jesus finally comes to Mary and Martha, they cry out, “We know you’re the Messiah, we trust you, we know you’re here with us now, but couldn’t you have gotten here sooner? Couldn’t you have saved him?”

    Rev. Turnpenny expressed certainty that those who have lost loved ones could relate to these sentiments.

    Rev. Turnpenny feels that the next part of the story of Lazarus is the most teachable moment in the Bible. She said, “Good ol’ Jesus, he’s always teaching us, always revealing more of the truth and glory.”

    Jesus moves the tomb and raises Lazarus from the dead.

    “Death is not the worst-case scenario,” Rev. Turnpenny said. “In my opinion, the best part of this story is what happens after Lazarus comes out. … Lazarus was brought back to the community.”

    Mary and Martha had to loosen his bindings and bring him back to the community.

    Rev. Turnpenny went on to discuss the importance of community. She said, “It takes a village to raise the dead. Those we remember and celebrate tonight were part of that village for us.”


    Rev. Turnpenny personally knew one of the people honored during the Memorial Service, Brolin Parker, who greeted her at Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center when she was 12 years old. Meeting Brolin and her first trip to Sky Lake was the first time she felt the Holy Spirit. It’s what sparked her passion to pursue becoming a pastor.

    “I’m sure there are countless stories like that for all the saints we’re remembering tonight,” Rev. Turnpenny said. “And I have no doubt when they were raised into the next life, they were greeted by the most loving community imaginable! And now they’ve joined that great cloud of witnesses who continue to cheer us on. Their love remains with us and their example and legacy lead us onward as we work together to complete what Christ begins.”

    After Rev. Turnpenny delivered her message, District Superintendents named the clergy and clergy spouses being honored and lit candles for each of them.

    The following clergy and clergy spouses were remembered:

    • George Aberle 
    • Susan Andrews
    • Marco Araujo   
    • Alden Asbornsen            
    • Janet Atkins       
    • Barbara Beaudry              
    • Thomas J Bement           
    • Bruce Benson   
    • Benson Benton
    • Robert S. Boston             
    • Helen Bowen    
    • Herbert B. Bowen           
    • Leland Leslie Bowman   
    • Retha Brown     
    • William Alan Burnop Jr  
    • Rene Carrillo      
    • Laura Chatelle  
    • R Carol  Coltrain
    • Mary Cunningham          
    • Robert H. Darling             
    • Margaret Easton              
    • Myron  Ellsworth            
    • Dorothy (no pic) Emerson           
    • Rosella S Ewen 
    • Della Finney      
    • Margaret Harrington      
    • F Ray Hazlett     
    • Ruth Huff           
    • Helen P. Jones  
    • Robert A. Jones
    • William A. Kark 
    • Douglas G. Lathorp         
    • Robert B. Lewis
    • M. Edward Lincoln          
    • Lyle Linder         
    • "John Lee ""Jack""" Love              
    • Allen Lum           
    • Daniel T. Moore
    • Martha Munson              
    • Brolin Christopher Parker            
    • "Edith ""Edie""" Poland 
    • William Reeder
    • Ronald  Rhodes
    • Charles A. Rudd
    • Donald  Scandrol              
    • Jo Ellen Shea     
    • Leo Sidman        
    • Verne Slighter  
    • Robert William Smith    
    • Karen Patrice Snyder     
    • Shirley Spencer
    • Walter Edmund Taylor   
    • Ruth Thornton 
    • Nan Valencia     
    • William N. Walter            
    • Erwin James Wendt       
    • Thelma Sue West            
    • Wiley White      
    • Beatrice Whitney            
    • Jessie Marie Willkens

    TAGGED / Communications / Annual Conference 2018

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."