Hutchi­son praised for min­istry work

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By KAYLA RI­VAS kri­[email protected]­dem.com @Kay­la_S­tarDem

When In­te­grace Bayleigh Chase, for­merly Wil­liam Hill Gar­dens As­sisted Liv­ing Res­i­dence, sent word for a chap­lain in 2001, John Earl Hutchi­son of Cor­dova an­swered the call.

EASTON — When In­te­grace Bayleigh Chase, for­merly Wil­liam Hill Gar­dens As­sisted Liv­ing Res­i­dence, sent word for a chap­lain in 2001, John Earl Hutchi­son of Cor­dova an­swered the call.

Though First Ad­min­is­tra­tor, now vol­un­teer, Linda Schwarten Evans re­quested help for just one Sun­day and called on “the best per­son (she) could think of,” Hutchi­son has vol­un­teered ever since, de­liv­er­ing more than 500 mes­sages for 18 years as a lay min­is­ter.

“This was es­pe­cially im­por­tant to these se­nior cit­i­zens who were now in a new home, new sur­round­ings, new build­ing and who needed safety, se­cu­rity and to feel God’s pres­ence,” Evans said.

Hutchi­son con­tin­ued to give the mes­sage each month un­til De­cem­ber 2012. Upon re­tire­ment by other min­is­ters, he was agree­able to cover ev­ery Sun­day. On rare oc­ca­sions when he was un­avail­able, he se­cured an­other spir­i­tual mes­sen­ger, such as Laura Swann, Scott Burke, the Rev. Bobby Davis, and John and Linda Evans, all from the Fair view Church of the Brethren in Cor­dova.

“He lines up these sub­sti­tutes in ad­vance, fre­quently check­ing with them to make sure that his flock will be tended to,” Evans said.

Hutchi­son and Evans were fa­mil­iar from the Fairview Church of the Brethren in Cor­dova. To pro­vide such ser­mons, Hutchi­son is un­able to at­tend his home church along­side wife Mar y Ellen.

In re­cent years, Hutchi­son has de­liv­ered two mes­sages each week in in­ter­faith ser­vices — one to the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion and a se­cond mes­sage to those who are mem­ory im­paired and live in the Alzheimer’s Wing.

“To re­late to the two groups takes a spe­cial per­son, and John Hutchi­son is loved by all, es­pe­cially the mu­si­cian, Joe Holt, who plays be­fore­hand,” Evans said.

Evans said Hutchi­son’s ef­forts also im­pact staff, fam­i­lies and even doc­tors who have a mo­ment to hear his mes­sage as well.

Evans said she called on Hutchi­son in part due to his high de­gree of ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence. Hutchi­son is orig­i­nally from a small farm just out­side Ridgely and grad­u­ated from Easton High School in 1955. He at­tended Bridge­wa­ter Col­lege and later Uni­ver­sity of Mar yland Col­lege Park, where he earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in agri­cul­ture and agri­cul­tural eco­nomics. Con­tin­u­ing

in his stud­ies, Hutchi­son earned a mas­ter’s de­gree and fin­ished with a doc­toral de­gree in agri­cul­tural eco­nomics in 1975 and in­ter­na­tional devel­op­ment.

Hutchi­son vol­un­teered to be drafted as a con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tor to war through the Church of the Brethren. He later was as­signed to the Euro­pean Pro­gram, liv­ing in Sar­dinia, Italy, help­ing set­tle refugees from the Span­ish Civil War and World War II, help­ing them learn to farm, and be­come self-suf­fi­cient and part of the lo­cal cul­ture.

Af­ter he was re­leased from the se­lec­tive ser­vice obli­ga­tion, Hutchi­son vis­ited other vol­un­teer projects and lo­ca­tions in Italy, Ger­many and Greece, and spent about a month in the Mid­dle East and other Euro­pean coun­tries.

Hutchi­son also is a for­mer Tal­bot County Christ­mas tree farmer and does jail min­istry, too.

“At In­te­grace Bayleigh Chase, we are hon­ored to have peo­ple such as Mr. John Hutchi­son of­fer his gifts in ser­vice to our res­i­dents,” Di­rec­tor of Spir­i­tual Life at In­te­grace Bayleigh Chase, the Rev. Mar­i­anne Ell said. “He has given many hours of min­istry as a vol­un­teer at the Gar­dens and has touched many lives of res­i­dents, fam­i­lies and staff.”

“We are grate­ful for his 18 years of ser­vice and min­istry of com­pas­sion and grace pro­claim­ing the good news to our peo­ple,” she said. “Vol­un­teers like Mr. Hutchi­son

help us ful­fill our vi­sion of ‘ig­nit­ing in all peo­ple the pas­sion for mean­ing­ful liv­ing.’”

“I am con­vinced that God chose Mr. John Earl Hutchi­son for this spe­cial role in His plan for His mis­sion,” Evans said, ref­er­enc­ing Matthew 22:14, “for many are called, but few are cho­sen.”

“God asked, I said: ‘no, no, maybe’ then ‘yes,’” Hutchi­son said. “Now I feel es­pe­cially blessed to be able to wor­ship with the at­ten­dees of In­te­grace Bayleigh Chase. I hope God has also blessed them. Cer­tainly they and the staff have been a real bless­ing to me ... They feel like fam­ily — God’s fam­ily unit­ing to­gether to serve oth­ers and God.”

When Hutchi­son was asked how he has per­se­vered in vol­un­teer­ing for such a lengthy du­ra­tion of time, he said, “I’m here to help God.”

At the most re­cent ser­vice, Hutchi­son en­cour­aged his au­di­ence to help oth­ers.

He gave an ex­am­ple stem­ming from his own life, when he re­cently drove by a man stuck in a muddy ditch on the side of the road and stopped to help him.

“I just couldn’t desert him,” he said. “(I felt) he was my brother and his wife was my sis­ter.”

“Think about what God is do­ing in your life,” Hutchi­son said. “He has blessed you in many ways.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

John Earl Hutchi­son has de­voted 18 years to vol­un­teer min­istry work for lo­cal res­i­dents in as­sisted liv­ing.

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