From the Pastor

July 5th, 2019 by Chip

I am so pleased to begin our ministry together!

From the moment that my appointment here to First UMC in Oakhurst was announced, I have been surrounded by your wonderful hospitality. The staff and members of the congregation have been warm and welcoming—I thank you!

As over time you introduce yourselves to us, allow me to introduce our family to you. I am the child of a Methodist pastor, in fact one of four generations of Methodist clergy. I was raised in a home of abundant unconditional love, and have come to know that it is this very empowering, healing, all-inclusive love with which God holds us. At an early age I sensed a call into ordained ministry, and following that call has led me to serve churches in Neshanic Station while in seminary, then Ridgefield Park, Dumont, Whitehouse, and, prior to coming here, Summit. I have loved each appointment and been grateful for the unique gifts each congregation brings to God’s work.

My husband, Bill, teaches 8th grade math in the Summit Middle School. He and I met while we were undergrads at Rutgers, and married while I was attending Princeton Theological Seminary. We have two daughters: Lara, who, with her husband Ben, lives in Brooklyn, NY; and Elissa, who with her husband Vin, lives in Santa Fe, NM. Right now we share our home with our two cats, Atticus and Scout.

I have enjoyed serving the Annual Conference in numerous ways, and, as a certified spiritual director, I currently serve as the spiritual director to the GNJ Way Forward Team. I also am a member of the District Committee on Ministry.

As I begin to serve in your midst, I look forward to getting to know you each and hearing your stories of life and faith. If you would welcome a visit, please do let me know. I look forward to hearing about the things about which you are enthused and where you sense your gifts in ministry lie. As we make our way we will surely discover the many ways in which God is calling us as a church community.

With joy a new season begins!

Shawn Callender Hogan

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