Communion set ‘comes home’ to Asbury United Methodist Church

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After being separated for more than a century, an artifact was finally reunited with its former church community in Rhode Island.

On June 3, Asbury United Methodist Church in Warwick held a “Come Home to Asbury” celebration, where the members of the church commemorated the return of a historic communion set.

The communion set, made of silver, dates to March 26, 1894. The set was formerly the property of Reverend Francis Henry Spear, the organizing pastor and first minister for the current Asbury United Methodist Church. Janet Logan, the great granddaughter of Rev. Spear, chose to bring the set back to its former home in the Ocean State after inheriting it from her grandfather.

A ceremony was held June 3 where the communion set was bestowed to the church, and the contributions of the Spear family were honored. The Board of Trustees was present to accept the gift on behalf of the church, as well as almost 130 current and former members of the church.

Janet and her husband, Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” Logan, made the commute from California, while several other attendees traveled from locations as far as Arizona and New York. In addition to the current pastor, Rev. Dr. Elisabeth Smith, several former pastors made an appearance for the event.

Afterwards, a luncheon was held, as well as trivia games concerning the history of Asbury and its members.

The original silver communion set was given to Rev. Spear by his congregation to honor him; the set had discontinued use after being replaced by a new one. Formerly the property of the original Asbury Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in Providence, the communion set was used there for a time; however, the church was eventually disbanded due to major road construction. Once the Asbury United Methodist Church in Warwick was founded in 1930, Rev. Spear served there as a pastor and the First Minister of Asbury.

Eventually, the communion set was given to Waldo, the son of Rev. Spear and his wife Alice Spear. Waldo and his wife Margaret treasured the artifact for many years. According to Janet’s cousin, Becky Arnold, Janet soon came to love the set, expressing an interest in one day owning it. After inheriting the communion set, she developed a deep appreciation for the set’s historic value and set about organizing its return to its former home in Rhode Island.

Janet was born in California, and has lived there her whole life; she currently resides in the northern country town of Santa Rosa with her husband Bob. Attending the “Welcome Home” ceremony was actually her first visit to the Asbury Church. She has a certificate in Spiritual Direction from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, and has served as an elementary school teacher as well as a Spiritual Director and a Director of Women’s Ministries. She spends much of her time writing and blogging about teaching spirituality to children.

Bob Logan has served as church planter, pastor, and missions leader, and has a Master of Divinity from the Western Baptist Seminary in Oregon, as well as a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Fuller Theological Seminary.

Both of them are published authors. Janet has written a book titled Child-Centered Spirituality, a book that advises parents on how to broach spiritual topics with children beginning to explore their faith. Her husband Bob has also published several books regarding faith and coaching, including Coaching 101 and Be Fruitful and Multiply. Both of their books are available for purchase on amazon.com.

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