The following announcement was sent out to churches and clergy in the Southern New England Conference on Nov. 20:
Dear Members of the Southern New England Conference,
It was with deep sadness that we have received the Rev. Jonathan New’s resignation this past Monday. Jonathan has served within the now historic Massachusetts Conference as the Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Financial Development.
Jonathan has served in this position for several years following the loss of his predecessor, Andy Gustafson. He stepped in at a time of transition in the Massachusetts Conference. He reengaged the churches in conversations around new approaches to giving. He inspired the MA Conference to think more proactively about development and fundraising. He is an innovative thinker not only in Massachusetts but across the United Church of Christ. His expertise in the area of identifying and ministering to churches who are considering their threshold of viability and vitality has been a gift. He served, on our behalf, with the committee that crafted the new Manual on Ministry. And, he has responded to countless churches who have called for help with stewardship concerns, always with an eye towards moving them through fiscal anxiety and into faithful visioning.
Jonathan has done this with a sense of grace and thoughtfulness combined with the perfect blend of pastoral care and sensitivity. He has moved us forward into our vision of partnering with God to build on God’s realm of love and justice. He will be missed.
Jonathan will be pursuing a call of his heart to return to ministry in local church settings. His departure is a significant loss because of his impact on our ministries and at the same time we know that he will be a blessing for the next church that will receive his ministry.
Your Bridge Conference Ministers are now actively engaged in a conversation on how to provide for this staffing need as we evolve into our new staffing and leadership model. You will hear more about this between now and Jonathan’s final day with us on January 15, 2020.
Please hold Jonathan in your prayers as he begins his next step in ministry.
Please hold each other and your Conference in your prayers as we say goodbye and seek to faithfully fill this space.
Bridge Conference Ministers
Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ