Conference Mourns the Passing of Janice Sommerville
Staff in the Conference Office were saddened to hear of the passing of the Rev. Janice Sommerville, 69, of non-COVID related issues, on December 31, 2020, in Berkeley, California. Janice was the director of the Pacific School of Religion's Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) program and instrumental in the partnership that recently brought this program to the Hawai'i Conference. Expanding the TEL program to Hawai'i had been a dream of Janice's for many years, and she worked persistently and tirelessly to bring that dream to fruition. We rejoice and give thanks that she was able to see the launching of the program and its enthusiastic reception in Hawai'i.
Janice also served as Associate Pastor of Administration and Member Services, City of Refuge, Oakland, CA, a congregation aligned with both the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM).
States the Pacific School of Religion: "Janice impacted each of our lives in the community in deep ways, through her commitment to life and ministry, dedication to making theological education accessible, and helping others see, hear, and live out their callings. She shaped the faith journeys of countless students, including her work this year to launch our Hawai'i Cohort of TEL."
Yvette Flunder, Bishop and Presiding Prelate of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries stated on behalf of TFAM: "Our hearts are broken by this sudden loss of one of our faithful long-term leaders, who has left her mark on so many of us."
While the winter and spring Hawai'i TEL classes will move forward, the class planned for January 2021 will be rescheduled to a later date to allow PSR time to adjust and arrange for staff coverage. The Conference Office asks that you join the staff and the Hawai'i cohort of TEL in prayer for Janice's family and ministry colleagues.
Rev. Janice Jean Sommerville May 9, 1951 - December 31, 2020