Rev. Janet Wallace's Autobiography

A Brief Autobiography

Janet Wallace


            I am a retired United Methodist clergywoman who was in the pastoral ministry for 18 years.  I served four churches in Massachusetts:  Long Plain UMC as a student pastor, where I oversaw growth in attendance, giving, mission work, and vision during my four years there; Southbridge UMC for two years, where I very much enjoyed an inner city type of ministry, as well as the ecumenical work in the tri-town area; then four years at the Westport Point UMC, which functioned as a community church, and fellowship events were memorable; and finally, eight years at the Bridgewater UMC, where I was engaged in the ecumenical work of the churches, lead many study groups and women’s retreats, began an adult literacy program, and acted as the general contractor for the redesign and remodeling of the sanctuary.

            What I most enjoyed about the pastoral ministry, besides the personal relationships that developed, was the opportunity to create meaningful worship services, to lead small study and discussion groups, to foster a sense of community, to work with other clergy on ecumenical programs, and to develop missional concern for the larger world.       

  Since retirement from the ministry my husband Vern and I have owned and operated an apartment house at Chautauqua Institution in western New York State.  This is an historic  community to which thousands of people come every summer to participate in a  great variety of cultural, educational, religious, and recreational programming. 

            Prior to entering the ministry my professional experience included a brief stint as a high school English teacher, and, when my children were in their teens, working for an interior design firm in Boston. 

            My education includes a B.A. degree from the State University of New York at Albany, an M. Ed from Boston University in secondary education, a degree in Interior Design from Chamberlayne in Boston, and an M.Div. from Boston University School of Theology, from which I graduated at the age of 52.

            All my life I have been passionate about justice issues—for human beings, for the environment, and for animals.  I am a perpetual reader, and also love to cook, entertain, and garden and work on remodeling projects.

            My husband, Vern, a retired mechanical engineer, and I have lived in Marion for more than 50 years, except for the years when I was serving churches away.  We have been blessed with four sons: Chris, Greg, Tim, and Andy, and a daughter, Ann, and 11 grandchildren.