June 2, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Through prayerful discernment and after having finished the proper consultations according to The United Methodist Book of Discipline, I am happy to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Gwendolynn Purushotham as interim District Superintendent of the New Hampshire District, effective July 1, 2016.
Dr. Purushotham, an elder in the New England Conference, retired in 2014 after a long ministry serving churches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and as Superintendent of the Rhode Island/Southeastern Massachusetts and Central Massachusetts districts.
She served as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s (GBHEM) director of clergy supervision and accountability from 2003 to 2008, and in 2011 was elected the agency’s Associate General Secretary; a post she held until her retirement.
While serving as GBHEM’s director of clergy supervision and accountability, Gwen wrote Watching Over One Another in Love: A Wesleyan Model for Ministry Assessment. The book, published by GBHEM, offers guidance on how to hold support and accountability together in the practice of ministry.
Gwen earned an M.Div. at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and a D.Min. in Supervision at Andover Newton Theological School.
She and her husband, Sam Purushotham, have three adult children.
Gwen and I first met when we were both students at the training for new superintendents 20 years ago. Since then, I have observed her leadership in our denomination, and I am always impressed by her integrity.
She is well qualified to step into this role, having brought her wisdom to the New England Board of Ordained Ministry and to the training of superintendents and clergy in the ministry of supervision; and having lent her considerable gifts to the general church.
I am deeply grateful to Gwen for interrupting her retirement and agreeing to this unexpected appointment. I look forward to her presence on the Cabinet, and know that she will offer great transitional leadership as we prepare for the next New Hampshire superintendent.
Please keep the Purushothams, the Abbotts, the clergy and laity of the New Hampshire District, the New England Conference, and me in your prayers in this time of transition.
In Christ’s love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar