Sugar Loaf United Methodist Church
Pastor Susan Chupungco joined the Sugar Loaf United Methodist Church on July 1, 2014.
A native of California, Susan relocated to New Jersey to attend seminary at the Drew Theological School. She graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. Susan has been an assistant pastor at the Yorktown Heights United Methodist Church and she and her husband, Angelo, were married in June of 2014.
Susan loves long walks, knitting and yoga. She enjoys arts and crafts and anything that involves construction with wood, glue, scissors, nails, fabric, etc. She loves the outdoors and believes that fresh air and sunshine are two of the best things in the world.
On Sunday, March 18 four churches, Goshen, New Milford, Sugar Loaf, and Warwick gathered for a pot luck luncheon and a presentation by Tom Vencuss, mission coordinator for the New York Annual Conference. Tom shared with us the four areas of focus for mission which include Abundant Health, Disaster Response, Global Missions, and Local Outreach. Here is a little about what we learned:
Abundant Health - We seek to offer a holistic approach to life and mission offering ministries that give attention to the whole person: body, mind, & spirit. Areas of focus include active living, access to healthcare, clean water, nutrition, and spiritual health & well being. We seek to care for the whole person and so the United Methodist Church has set a goal to engage at least 10,000 U.S. churches in promoting physical activity, healthy diet and nutrition, education for tobacco- and drug-free living, and mental health education by 2020.
Disaster Response - Responding to disaster is one of the things we are known for in the United Methodist Church due our work with and support of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). There are three branches of care in responding to a disaster. 1. Early response teams help take down damage and prepare a community for rebuilding. 2. Long term recovery teams focus on getting those displaced due to disaster back into clean and safe homes. 3. Emotional & Spiritual Care teams offer a kind face, a listening ear, and the ministry of presence. While some are called to rebuild homes, these are folks who are called to offer the much needed care that the person needs to find comfort and hope in the midst of disaster.
Global Ministries - The United Methodist Church has a long history of sending short-term volunteer mission teams around the world to share the gospel by presence, action, and word. We travel to places around the globe to bring God's love and the hope and peace of Christ to a hurting world. In addition to preaching the gospel, we help communities with projects that improve their quality of life such as establishing wells for clean water, schools for children, and medical clinics in remote areas where access to healthcare is difficult.
Local Outreach - This is where the local congregation puts faith into action by being the hands and feet of Jesus. God in Jesus got involved in the world first-hand. He walked the streets, sat in the marketplace, and spent time in people’s homes offering a love and care for every child of God that was affirming and life-changing. The Mission Office of the New York Annual Conference is available to help local congregations engage with their local community to bring ministries of hope, healing, care, and justice by offering training and occasional financial support to engage in the needs of the community beyond the walls of the church.
This was the second Beloved Community luncheon, growing the number of attendees and those engaged in fellowship. Our next Beloved Community luncheon will be on May 6 at 1:00pm. This time New Milford UMC will host with a program of fun and games to build relationships between the congregations. I hope you will decide now to attend. The body of Christ is stronger when we are connected to one another to find ways to reach in love to the communities to which God has called us to be salt and light.
In peace and grace,