Bluff Point Methodist pastor the Rev. Sandi Perl, the driving force behind The Living Well, was recently honored with the The Harry Denman Evangelism Award at the Methodist Annual Conference.
The award program honors “United Methodists whose exceptional ministry of evangelism— expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) — brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Each year, The Methodist Annual Conferences and the Foundation for Evangelism recognize one youth, one clergy, and one lay person in each conference. Nominated by two fellow pastors, Perl is described as “having the ability to identify strengths and gifts in others and empowering them to serve God in amazing and sometimes new ways.” According to a colleague, the “passion she has for people who are often overlooked or neglected by the majority of our society is heartwarming, authentic, and productive in creating a safe place for them to experience acceptance and feel valued as a child of God.”
At the Upper New York Annual Conference in Syracuse June 3, Joe Pascoe, last year’s clergy recipient of the Denman Award, presented this year’s award to Perl saying, “Through her work with The Living Well, a ministry of the United Methodist Churches of Yates County, she has offered practical assistance to those in need, as well as a place to worship and to learn about God.
“In 2014, Penn Yan and the surrounding areas were hit by a devastating flood. Even though The Living Well’ was also flooded, under her guidance, a center was set up where people could get assistance, including food and cleaning supplies, and a registry was created for those who needed volunteers to come to their homes to help with emergency work needed as a result of the flooding. As this flood program phased out, (Perl’s) vision has been responsible for new programs such as ‘New Hope Cancer Care’ which provides assistance to cancer patients and their caregivers, including help with transportation, gas cards, household needs and copays, referrals to other agencies, and someone to pray with the patients and their families... It has been said that her ministry is a combination of compassion, kindness, accountability, and unconditional love to every person she comes into contact with, that she sees the good in all people, and that, to her, every circumstance is an opportunity to let others know that God is at work in their lives and that He always has a plan. Everyone walks away from this person with a renewed sense of hope, strength, and love.”