On May 7 the Staff Parish Relations (SPR) committee unanimously and enthusiastically approved the plan to hire Deb Clifford as a part-time staff member. Deb will be commissioned by Bishop Thomas Bickerton at the Annual Conference of NYAC on June 8. Effective July 1, Reverend Deborah J. Clifford will serve alongside Pastor Gene at SUM as a deacon.  

Deacons are clergy called to fulfill servant ministry in the world and to lead by bridging the church to the world. Deacons give leadership in the church’s life by teaching and proclaiming the Word; contributing to worship; and leading the congregation in interpreting the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. For a full explanation of the role of deacon (Deacon Deb) vs. elder (Pastor Gene), click here or visit the website for the frequently asked questions (FAQ) document.

Deb’s experience in organizational effectiveness, diversity/inclusion, change management, and leadership development make her uniquely qualified to fulfill her call in the area of congregational development and church revitalization.

Some of the responsibilities Deb will fulfill in her role include: developing strong leadership to support SUM growth, representing SUM in the community, assisting Pastor Gene during Sunday worship, and more. While Deb will not be an Associate Pastor, she will be fulfilling many of the same responsibilities and will support Pastor Gene. Please join me in congratulating Deb on this exciting new part of her life journey!

~ Jennifer Acheson, SPR Chair