by Rev. Dr. Casey Sigmon
Today we celebrate Rev. Rodney Newman on this, his last chapel service, with Saint Paul School of Theology. Since 2007, Rod has been a fixture at Oklahoma City University – coordinating worship as University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life, then serving as Director of the Wesley Center, mentoring students, and contributing to the rich community life in Oklahoma as he taught many students, including of course all about Celtic Christianity. And for 5 years, while also serving as senior pastor of Bridgeview UMC, Rod has taken the helm of worship and spiritual formation for the Saint Paul Oklahoma Campus.
Anyone who works with Rod knows of his gifts for grounding any moment with poignant, attentive prayer. It’s certainly rooted in his deep spiritual life, his study, and his embrace of the Celtic way of seeking after and resting in the mystery of God. I have been blessed in our collaboration, especially through a year of pandemic worship leadership. Though we all have been rattled, frustrated, and weary, he has been a steady co-conspirator, again, grounded in and grounding each of us on the worship team in the Love of God.
For his leadership in worship, his mentorship of students in contextual education and preaching, and more, thank you, Rod. We celebrate you today and surround you in prayer as you step into leadership at New Hope UMC!