Virginia Council of Churches presents
its highest honor to Bishop Kammerer
Virginia Council of Churches General Minister the Rev. Jonathan Barton congratulates Bishop Charlene Kammerer after she was presented the Lifetime Ecumenist award at the organization’s annual banquet.
Virginia Conference Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer received the Lifetime Ecumenist Award from the Virginia Council of Churches at a lunchtime ceremony, May 15, at The Brandermill Church in Midlothian.
Cooperative effort with other denominations and faiths has been a cornerstone of Bishop Kammerer’s ministry since the very beginning.
The bishop will retire this summer. Beginning in January 2013 she will begin a teaching position at Candler Theological Seminary in Atlanta as one of the bishops-in-residence there.
The Brandermill Church, a joint United Methodist-Presbyterian Church congregation, was also honored with a Faith in Action award. The Richmond Hill retreat center and the Rev. Dr. Joseph M. Vought, who served as senior pastor of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg from 1997 until 2008, received Faith in Action awards.
On the denominational level, Bishop Kammerer serves as president of the General Board of Discipleship is a member of the Connectional Table and a member of the In Defense of Creation Task Force within the Council of Bishops.
She’s a native of Winter Garden, Fla., where her home church was First UMC. She graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., with an A.B. degree in religion and philosophy. Wesleyan is the first college in the world chartered for the granting of degrees to women. She obtained Master of Christian Education and Master of Divinity degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.
The Rev. Burt Brooks, senior pastor at the
Brandermill Church, accepts a “Faith in Action”
award from the Virginia Council of Churches on
She was ordained deacon in 1975 and elder in 1977 in the Florida Conference. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1991 from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Bishop Kammerer's service in the church has included equal years in parish ministries and connectional ministries, including service as a campus minister at Duke University and as a district superintendent of the Tallahassee District, Florida Conference.
Her longtime interests in ministry include higher education, mission, and the spirituality of administration. She has served as a director of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and as a director of the General Board of Global Ministries, including chairperson of the United Methodist Committee on Relief from 1992-1996. She has been honored with Doctor of Divinity degrees from Bethune-Cookman College (Fla.), Pfeiffer University (N.C.) and Wesleyan College (Ga.).
She and her husband, Leigh, a substance abuse and addictions counselor for VCU Health Systems in Richmond, have one son, Chris, who just completed more than 10 years with the U.S Navy, and three grandchildren, Christopher, Noelle and Elton.
"It is an honor for our conference as well as for Bishop Kammerer personally for her to receive the Virginia Council of Churches' Lifetime Ecumenist Award,” said the Rev. Tom Joyce, assistant to Bishop Kammerer and former president of the Virginia Council of Churches. “ This is the most prestigious award and honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to strengthening relationships among the various Christian faith communities over the span of their entire career or lifetime. Bishop Kammerer is, indeed, a most worthy recipient."
The Brandermill Church was organized in 1977, and the vision of an ecumenical church for the new community of Brandermill originated in the Virginia Council of Churches.
“It was proposed that such a church be established by many denominations pooling their resources together,” writes the Rev. D. Clyde Bartges, founding ministry of the church. “And although other denominations did participate in the initial conversations, only two agreed to cooperate in this unique venture. These continue to be the Presbyterian Church (USA) and The United Methodist Church.
“The first meeting of those who would later form the church was held at the home of Bill and Sue Akin in Poplar Grove on Jan. 16, 1977. About 25 people attended that Sunday night meeting, and some of these are still active members today.” The present church facility was begun in 1980.
Richmond Hill is an ecumenical Christian community with a vocation of hospitality, healing, prayer and racial reconciliation for the city of metropolitan Richmond. It was founded by members and leaders of 14 denominations, to seek to establish a continuity of prayer in the historic Monastery of the Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria on Church Hill in Richmond. Richmond Hill will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year on Dec.
The residential Community of Richmond Hill lives by a modified Benedictine Rule. The community maintains a 45-bed retreat center, offering individual and group retreats, the RUAH School of Spiritual Guidance, a school of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the SOZO School of Christian Healing Prayer, and classes in centering prayer, Christian Social Transformation, and the Unhealed History of Richmond. The center also staffs the Micah Initiative, which involves 125 faith communities in support of 25 highly impacted elementary schools in the city of Richmond.
The speaker was Lisa Schaffner, Public Relations and Marketing Director for the United Network for Organ Sharing and former news anchor for WRIC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Richmond.