Bishop Ordains New Clergy
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton ordained seven new elders and a deacon Sunday morning, June 10 during a service that included a baptism and Holy Communion at the close of the 2012 session of the Western PA Annual Conference. On Saturday night, the Bishop commissioned five new provisional members.
Donna Byrd Gabler, who serves as pastor of congregational care and missions at Charter Oak UM Church, was ordained a deacon.
Provisional members commissioned on Saturday night were Timothy James Goodman, pastor of Creekside UM Church and youth pastor at Trinity UM Church in Indiana, PA; Gary Lee Hilton, Jr., pastor of Homewood and Volant UM churches; Julie Sparks Kolacz,pastoral counselor and chaplain at Meadville Medical Center; Scott Alan Shaffer, pastor of Spring Hope UM Church in North Carolina; and Erica Beth Wellner, a student at Asbury Theological Seminary.
All the new clergy participated in the service, with Donna Gabler reading Acts 2 in English, while Kelly Smith, Thomas Parkinson, Susan Moudry, and Sandra Matoushaya of the Conference staff read in other languages as the sound of wind was heard in the room, bringing the scriptural description of speaking in many tongues to life.