A Word from DS Rev. Dr. Marcus Freeman 7/20/23

Greetings, Friends of the Capital District! It is with great joy that I extend a warm hello to all of you! It is a pleasure and honor to be appointed to serve in the wonderful Capital District. I would like to express my gratitude to Bishop Schnase for his trust to appoint me to represent him the role of Superintendent. I consider it a great privilege to commit myself to offering the best service that I can in walking with you in ministry.  

I want to thank my dear friend Rev. Andy Smith for sharing his wisdom and his years of superintendency expertise with the District for the interim period in which he served. I pray that Andy and Robyn will have a rich and fulfilling experience of ministry and life as he returns to retirement. I also want to thank all of my predecessors who have shaped the integrity of this role in the Capital District – I feel the strength of their legacy.

Janice, our daughters, and I are especially grateful to Jill Barre, Marvin Morganroth, the District Strategy Team, and the Trustees for their wonderful efforts to ensure that our move to the District parsonage has been a pleasant experience. As we are beginning to settle in, we have been blessed to meet so many of our friendly neighbors who have kindly welcomed us to the neighborhood.

I am also grateful for the warm greetings and welcomes that my family and I have received from leaders from the churches throughout the Capital District. Everyone whom we have met from the District so far, whether clergy or laity delegates at Annual Conference, whether by telephone, through emails, or cards, has extended hospitality in Christian love in a way that has built up our spirits and has helped us to begin to feel at home.

The welcoming spirit that you have extended to us has been offered with such consistency and genuineness until it begins to represent an undeniable pattern of Christian love. I am excited to think of this as one of the first things that I am beginning to learn about the Capital District: it is a mission field that represents Christ’s love. This is a wonderful place to start and I am eager to learn more.

My desire to begin learning among you is shaped by an article written by Lovett Weems, Honoring the Context of a New Ministry Setting – Lewis Center for Church Leadership. He suggests that we resist a tendency to see things in our new ministry setting through a lens of our own past leadership experiences and impose upon the new context how we have done things in the past. Instead, Weems suggests that we spend our first days immersing ourselves in the ministries of mission and getting to know those with whom we will serve. This is a way to honor the new context where we have been assigned.

We are already making plans to meet with pastors and leaders of the District over the next couple of months to begin to learn more about the Capital District and honor this rich context that is already established. I extend a special welcome to all of the clergypersons who will be beginning in new appointments this year in the District. I want to get to know all of you, learn what is important to you and your churches in ministry, and gain insights on how the office of the District Superintendent can offer the best support.

I must also offer a word of admiration and appreciation for the leaders and members of the Crossroads District who have moved into this transition of sharing a District Superintendent between the Capital and Crossroads Districts with so much grace and acceptance. This is so very characteristic of the lovely and faithful spirits that they have always demonstrated over the years. Their graciousness has helped to make this transition possible.

As I close this first article, my heart rises to the enthusiasm of Brian Wren’s inspiring hymn, “This is the Day of New Beginnings.” The last verse of the hymn talks about the anticipation of gathering around the table together in hopeful anticipation of sharing Christ’s love as it goes, “In faith we’ll gather round the table to taste and share what love can do. This is a day of new beginnings; our God is making all things new.”

I look forward to all of us sharing Christ’s love together in Christian service.

Grace and Peace,