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Occupation: I am the minister of visitation and spiritual growth at Newtown United Methodist Church. It's a part-time position that I'm enjoying. I retired in June from Great Hill United Methodist Church in Seymour, where I was the senior pastor



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Occupation: I am the minister of visitation and spiritual growth at Newtown United Methodist Church. It’s a part-time position that I’m enjoying. I retired in June from Great Hill United Methodist Church in Seymour, where I was the senior pastor for six years. I’ve been ordained for 15 years, with my Master in Divinity from Yale. I’ve served in various churches in Connecticut and New York over the years. Before I was ordained, I did Christian education and ministry, and I was a stay-at-home mother to our three sons.

Family: My husband Bob and I have been married 46 years. We have three sons, Rob and his wife, Barbara, William and his wife, Michele, and Pete and his wife, Anne. Rob lives in Newtown, William is in Ridgefield, and Pete is moving from Wyoming. He and his wife are bluegrass artists and traveling around this year. We have six grandsons and one granddaughter, Liam and Mason, Daniel, Stephen, Brian, Leah, and Samuel. I wanted to retire while I still had the energy, and spend more time with the grandchildren.

How long have you been at Newtown? We currently live in Easton, but my credentials with New York Area Conference of Methodist Church are now with NUMC, since I retired. I wanted to come to Newtown because Rob and his family are here, and I liked Rev Mel. We are considering downsizing from our home in Easton, and love this area.

What do you like to do in your free time? Both Bob and I have always enjoyed our land and gardens. Being clergy, you get so wrapped up in your work, there is not a lot of free time. I’m looking forward to more time with the grandchildren. I enjoy writing, but over the years it has been focused on sermons. I hope to pick up on some of the things I loved to do before working full time, crafts and so on. It has been delightful to have some “play time.” And I read constantly.

What have you read recently? This summer, I decided to read just for fun. I really enjoyed The Help by Kathryn Stockett, for one.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? One of the things behind our retiring was to travel with Pete and Anne, and go to bluegrass festivals. We went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, this summer for one of their festivals. We would love to visit each state and the state parks. One of our hopes is to visit Scotland and Ireland.

What is the best thing about Newtown? I’ve always found the Labor Day Parade delightful, so it was fun to be in it this year, even if it wasn’t Labor Day! Newtown has always been one of those towns that has been so good about the land use, and how it has worked to maintain a sense of community. To see the way Sandy Hook Center has been transformed is wonderful. It is nice to see that strip malls have not taken over. The shopping centers are nicely done.

Do you have a hero? Growing up, it was Madame Curie. I was fascinated with science, and to find a woman in such an important field was not usual. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of my early heroines, too. They were doing things in those times that were not the norm. As a young girl, I never knew that a woman could be ordained. I was in my 20s before I heard a woman preach. Women in the pews had to get their minds around a woman speaking from the pulpit and having authority. In the business world, women made tremendous strides, but in my day there were many churches where women could not be called into the ministry. For me, it was the women in the church who had strong faith, and the gifts they gave, that I most admired. Because of the way they lived their lives as women of faith, I saw that women could make a difference.

Do you have a personal philosophy? Love has to be the primary driving force in all my choices. Is it loving behavior toward the world? Is it self loving? Is it loving others? It has to be grounded in love. I believe in a loving God, not a vengeful God. That’s a huge part of my way of approaching life.

Do you have a guilty pleasure? Just being outdoors and being surrounded by nature, and having no agenda.

Comments are open. Be civil.

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