News and Views

With Thanks: Pastor Appreciation Month

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October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Via the e-connection, members of several churches throughout the Baltimore-Washington Conference shared words of appreciation for their pastors.

Some pastors possess a spirit of generosity that shines in all they do. Jen Karsner of Asbury UMC in Arnold is one of these pastors. During Pastors Appreciation Month, she writes small notes of thanks on Facebook to a vast array of clergy people and encourages all those shaped by the ministry of these clergy to reach out themselves. It is a beautiful gesture. But that beauty reflects in all Jen does. She is authentic, creative, joyful and harbinger of grace. We thank her for all she is and all she does.  

Rev. Andrew Cooney is a pastor that has been influential in my whole family’s life.  He was a former pastor at the church we attend and had a very special relationship with all my children but especially my youngest.  He also officiated at the wedding of my two older daughters.  He then eventually became the pastor at my uncle’s church.  But recently, my son-in-law was hurt in a work accident and rushed to University of MD Shock Trauma.   My uncle called him about the accident because he knew that he was nearby and thought he could be helpful.  Pastor Andrew came to the shock trauma unit and sat with my daughter for the entire time that first day.  He was a great source of comfort to her especially as he stayed when there were complications to my son-in-law’s surgery.  I would also like to commend his wife, Kelly Cooney as she came down during their stay to continue to check on my daughter, brought her dinner and offered her a place to go if she needed to leave the hospital.  They are both true examples of how to live a Christian life.  Thank you, Pastor Andrew and Kelly. -- Lori Young

Rev. Jim Archibald welcomed me to his church staff many years ago when I was a young seminary graduate, uncertain of my call or career path.  Green though I was, he treated me as a respected colleague, but also gave me the direction and attention I needed as a young person who was greatly lacking in experience and wisdom.  From watching him, I learned pastoring skills that have served me well for over 30 years, and I learned what it means to be a partner in ministry.  From Jim, I received encouragement, both personal and professional; friendship; and the realization that there ought to be plenty of laughter involved!  Thank you, Jim!  -- Rev. Lori Hoffman Hays, Lexington Park UMC

There have been three people who have had a life-changing impact on my life, One is my mom, the second my grandma, and the third is my pastor, Rev. Joseph Daniels, He has influenced my life more than words can say. He has shown through his actions what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a pastor of God's people. He is a listener, encourager and motivator. He is authentic, transparent, and a pastor of people inside and outside of the walls of the church, to those who already know Jesus and those who have yet to know Jesus. He is strong and motivated but never afraid to show his weakness. My walk with Christ has been greatly impacted with him as my pastor, I believe he is an answered prayer. As I journey towards pastoral ministry, he continues to show me how to pastor God's people without words. His actions speak out loud. I believe God is using him to help transform me into who God is calling me to be, I am learning from him things I could never learn in a book. I see the light of Christ in all he does with and for others. Pastor Daniels is a blessing not just to me but to all of us and he is appreciated. – Sharon Milton

Pastor Tim Warner has been amazing and something I desperately needed in my life. When he came to our church, I was having a very hard time going to church. You see, we had lost our pastor due to a heart attack and church was just not a place I felt much peace anymore. Well, Pastor Tim walked through those doors and everything changed. I am so thankful for his ministry and friendship. Thank you! -- Molly Lichtenstein 

There have been several pastors that have influenced my life and have helped guide me (knowingly or unknowingly) to God's call as a pastor myself.  The one that had great influence on me in several ways is the Rev. Dr. William Louis Piel.  I called him "Rev. Piel" as a young boy at Mapleside UMC in Cumberland.  Mapleside was his first appointment when I was about 12 years old.  He would come to my house, and we would shoot hoops.  Mapleside was in the Cumberland Church League, and Rev. Piel would make a point to attend our games.  He was always the loudest one cheering - LOL...  He asked if I would serve as an acolyte, which I was honored to do.  When I was 16, I lost contact with Rev. Piel for about 50 years when my family moved to Pennsylvania. But my wife and  I made contact with him a couple of years ago when we visited the Strawbridge Shrine.  I was pleased to find out that he was still on God's call, and it was like a grand reunion for me to see him after so many years and many fond memories. Thank you, Rev. Piel, for making a difference in my life. – Pastor Bill Rowley

Three pastors have touched my life and ministry: Rev. Dr. Kendrick Weaver was my instructor for the CLM class 2016-2018, and he changed my life.  His in-depth analysis and knowledge help open a whole new world to me and helped me to look at my ministry and serving unto God in a whole new way.  Thank you. Rev. Phil Tocknell is a great mentor, supporter, and teacher.  His low-key approach to enjoying life and loving and serving God has helped me to be a better CLM.  Thank you. Rev. Dr. Reginald Tarpley is a great mentor, teacher, and friend.  He is a true blessing to my life and my ministry.  He saw in me what I did not see and he continues to mentor me as I grow in my relationship with God and as a disciple to and for Jesus Christ.  Thank you, Rev. Dr. Reginald Tarpley for your patience, support, and prayers. -- Kim Marie Walker

Dr. James L. Davis, Presiding Bishop of the 2nd Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was very instrumental in my ministry. I learned a lot about church operations, handling the business of the church from him. I will always be grateful for his recognition of my gifts for ministry. -- Dr. Sherri E. Wood-Powe, Oak Chapel UMC

Rev. Frank Brandon, Jr. was my pastor in 1956, (I was 13) when General Conference passed the legislation that granted women full inclusion as clergy. He involved our local church in district MYF, where I served as an officer. On the way home from a youth rally on Christian vocations, he encouraged me to pray about the ordained ministry. He and his wife, Dorothy, were a continual source of help and inspiration for me in fulfilling my call to ministry and was instrumental in my preaching as a teen in area churches. He participated in my ordination as Elder and in 1992 we had the opportunity to travel to Israel and Egypt together. I miss them both and am very grateful for their loving presence in my life.-- Mildred Costello Martin, Retired Elder) 

A leader, a listener, a learner and a friend; Dr. Armstrong has been a visible support in times of joy, crisis and need.  His calling is reflected in his daily walk with God. How do I know? My late pastor/husband was the senior role model for ministry. -- Andrea Robinson Logan, Widow of Rev. Douglas M. Logan

I would like to express my appreciation to three pastors:  Retired Rev. Daniel C. McLellan Jr. I can still hear him saying, "numbers do not matter." If there is 1 or 1000 in attendance, they were led by God. Dr. Rev. Patricia Allen -- she instilled in me that it's okay to say no.  We cannot help others if we don't take time to rest and refuel. And, Rev. Harry E. Smith Jr., who said, “we can't please everyone, so give your very best to our Lord and Savior.”  -- Marilyn D. Raynor 

Rev. Robert E Slade, pastor of Grace Fort Washington, has been very influential in my life. Under Pastor Slade, I acknowledged and accepted my call to ministry.  His teaching, love, and care for his congregation have been a guide for me in ministry.  He is a shepherd who truly cares for and watches over his flock.  He has been a shining light in the community.  Annually, he hosts an Equestrian Camp for youth between the ages of 10-16 using his farm and volunteers from the Nation Capital Area Cowboys Association to teach youth how to groom and ride horses.  The camp also provides entertainment for the 50 youth who attend that include roller skating, a camp out at the farm, movie night and two nights of youth worship services.  Pastor Slade has been able to keep the cost of the camp to $250/week for over 12 years.  I could go on about the various ways Pastor Slade has sewn seeds of faith, hope and life into the community of Chapel Hill, Fort Washington and beyond making disciples who make disciples for the transformation of the world.  I was blessed to have served under him for seven years and now am blessed to call him colleague in ministry. May God’s grace continue to cover you; may His mercy keep you, and may His blessings chase you down and overtake you. -- Pastor Nona Colbert

Rev. Gay Green-Carden has truly been a beacon to the Asbury Jessup UMC. Her unique and out of the box teaching and delivering of God’s Word to all -- the seasoned, mature, young and especially the un-churched, is awesome. Her love of God flows from her to our congregation and communities. Her sermons on Sundays leave you waiting and anticipating for the next Sunday’s message. Her weekly Bible Study is very rewarding and informative. She really stays connected to her congregation, when they hurt, she hurts. Her love for our young people is unbending. She encourages them to be the best that they can be. She recognizes the Honor Roll students, those that are struggling she prays with them and has them write their petition on a card and then puts them in a prayer jar and she keeps it in her study to pray on it until the prayer is answered. She is truly one of the best and we love her. -- Vivian L. Fenwick

My pastor, Patricia A. Turnage has let me know that she needs me as well as our church; (so I am certain she does the same to others whom she nurtures to serve). She recruits people personally and does not use others to suggest that you participate.  She assists in our training by sharing her ideas and informs us of what she would like to have accomplished (her vision). She lets us know her preference and provides examples.  She does not hesitate to do things herself; she even attends training with us. My pastor is full of Patience; Patience is a grace which matures Christian character and is a beauty to behold.  It is said that patience is the one grace that everyone wants others to exercise with them, but rarely are willing to reciprocate to others.  She believes in having proper guidance reflected for our “ways of doing things” so that we are all on one accord.  I was asked to develop and or update Standard Operating Procedures in a few areas of our procedures.  We were busy and got behind and I thought pastor would be angry. But do you know what she did?  She did the updates, emailed them to me, and said “maybe this will help you out” She showed me that she cared about us and our tasks. Pastor Turnage’s kind attitude and patience, allowed the love of God to shine into our lives.  The lesson learned was that patience elevates one’s level of influence upon, not only the one being interacted with, but also with onlookers and those who may hear about it. Patience can uplift and inspire one forward. Thank you, Pastor Turnage -- Juanita L. Clarke, Chairperson, Worship Committee 

I would like to recognize in appreciation Pastor Alice Ford of Glenelg UMC. Pastor Alice helped me discern my call to ministry and is a loving and compassionate guide and mentor. Our congregation is very blessed to have her as she helps shepherd us to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. -- Lisa Dolce, Deacon Candidate

I would like to honor Pastor Linda Motter at Olivet in Calvert County.  Maryland’s smallest county..., a historic Methodist church..., a woman whose heart is so big it knows no bounds...  We are blessed by Pastor Linda’s amazing grace, how she teaches by example and nurtures each of us to discover our Fruit of the Spirit. Loving God and neighbor as we love ourselves is not just Scripture - she has taught us it’s a way of life.  At Olivet, we’re rejoicing in Jesus, sharing our faith, and passing it on! -- Chris Stelloh-Garner, Lay Representative to the Annual Conference 

Anonymous Oct 28, 2019 2:39pm

Big Pool Charge of the UMC has been very blessed with the appointment of Pastor Al Deal on July 1, 2019. He has brought much needed energy and enthusiasm to our Charge. While we were fed the Word for the past six years, Pastor Al has challenged us to get out of our comfort zone and to be doers of the Word. Members have accepted that challenge and are stepping up to the plate. Since August 1st, we have 10 new attendees. We are praising God and thanking him for the renewal of our spirits. Gerry Reid, SPRC Chair

Gerry Reid, SPRC Chair Oct 28, 2019 2:44pm

The Big Pool Charge of the UMC has been blessed by the appointment of Rev. John Wunderlich 111 as District Superintendent of the C-H District - Western Region of the BW Conference. While he has been here for a very short time, we have had several occasions to meet with him. His love of Jesus is very evident, and his commitment to serve God's people is very evident. While he covers approximately 81 churches, he took the time to hold a special meeting with our Charge. We thank God for Rev. Wunderlich and ask God to bless him as he continues to serve him.

Beverly E Turner Oct 30, 2019 9:46am

St. Mark's UMC would like to express its sincere appreciation for Pastor Joycelyn Camper. Our congregation has many blessings for the significant role that she plays. Pastor Joy always include laity in every worship service. Together we are growing stronger, growing deeper and reaching higher to our call. When she enters our church sanctuary she is never alone. Her husband and lots of her family members are with her. Your church family cannot thank you enough. Thanks for always being a willing listener. Thank so much for being such a great example of living a life of faith. It shows in your sermons and in the lives you touch. Thank you most of all for allowing God to minister through you.

Adrienne Bullock Nov 5, 2019 5:36pm

I would like to express my admiration to these two beautiful Pastors ,Armon and Latsaka Nelson for
the many efforts they have made to bring our communities and Churches together for one common goal, to serve and do what Jesus wants us all to do. They have been an inspiration to me and have helped me with my fears as well. Thank you so much for your guidance.