The Rev. Abeoseh M. Bowen-Flemister
Forty six years ago (1963-2009), I did my Christian Education field work assignment at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Pleasant Hill, California. The Rev. Richard Shackell was the vicar of the congregation. I learned that he passed in July 2008. May he rest in peace. My sincere condolences and greetings to his widow.
I do not know how many of the former students of the Sunday school at Resurrection would recall having an African Christian teacher of the Sunday schooling between 1963 - 1965. I believe it was the second and third grades that I taught with a fellow student, Jackie whose surname I have forgotten with the passing of the years. I was a student from Liberia at St. Margaret's House at 1820 Scenic Ave in Berkeley. This was a graduate school for professional women training in Christian education. We took theological courses at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP). It was so wonderful to have the opportunity to visit the church again and CDSP over the Memorial Day weekend. I had attended a conference on missions the week before at Mercy Center at Burlingame and did some sight-seeing to former places that contributed to my ordination to the priesthood. Admittedly, I felt like "Rip van Winkle." I did not recognize the transformative nature of the two-lane highway to multiple lanes leading to the Church nor the developments that had taken place! I had a truly remarkable experience at Resurrection. The students were fascinated at seeing me in my Liberian African clothes. My Liberian clothing was, in itself a curriculum in global Christian Education. My clothing brought meaning to Jesus' love for all children and people that rung true in that Sunday school song that we sang, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world ..."
I was delighted to make contact with the rector, the Rev. Bruce Smith the next day, Tuesday, following Memorial Day, on the telephone. I understand that the Church is celebrating her 50th anniversary this year. I join the Rector, members, friends and well wishers to congratulate the Rector and members of Resurrection for their life of witness in our risen and ascended Lord and King over the years, and to wish you many more in the future.
I now live in Columbus, Ohio in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, where I am an assisting priest at St. John's Episcopal Church in Worthington, Ohio. I am married to Clinton Louis Flemister, an electronic engineer. We are the proud parents of three wonderful sons, two of whom are married and we are grandparents of five wonderful grandchildren.
I will be delighted to reestablish contact with the Church of the Resurrection, personally, and Liberia should this be an idea that appeals to the church.
The Rev. Abeoseh M. Bowen-Flemister '65