James Scalese Commissioned to Lead United Methodist Communities at Pitman

What is commissioning? Commissioning not only authorizes a leader for specific duties, it celebrates, recognizes, and encourages the high performing team behind him.

A Service of Commissioning and Blessing for James Scalese, executive director of United Methodist Communities at Pitman, occurred on January 8 at the Pitman United Methodist Church in Pitman, New Jersey.

UMC at Pitman Scalese Commissioning Service
UMC managers gather around Jim

As a faith-based senior care organization and in adherence to Wesleyan tradition, United Methodist Communities (UMC) commissions its leaders and charges them with the authority to serve in ways that move UMC’s mission forward and uphold its values of compassion, respect, stewardship, and service.

Pitman’s residents and associates took active roles in the service. Rev. Kim Wecht, director of mission and pastoral care, led the service. The Young-at-Heart Choir, composed exclusively of residents, sang several songs, accompanied by Don Jenkins on the piano.

Associates Wayne Szalma, Grace Ogumba and Guinnevere Phillip, joined with residents Bill Dwyer and Greta Riley, and others in the commissioning service, representing the community behind and supporting Mr. Scalese’s leadership. Marcel Horsey, healthcare scheduler, cited his accomplishments over a two-year tenure.

Mr. Scalese, a resident of Haddonfield, has over 25 years of experience in diverse settings within long-term healthcare administration, holds an advanced degree and professional licensing. He has been executive director at Pitman since 2016.

As its chair, Nona Ostrove, spoke on behalf of the United Methodist Communities’ Board of Directors, saying, “The word commission fittingly includes mission. You and all the associates are on the frontline of this mission and we send you out today with our blessing.”

UMC at Pitman Scalese Commissioning YaH Choir
UMC Pitman’s Young At Heart choir sang beautifully

President and CEO, Larry Carlson, affirmed the values for which UMC stands: justice, the gospel of Jesus, human dignity, honoring creativity and other gifts, teamwork, and applying our personal talents to the common good.

Carol McKinley, vice president of operations, presented praying hands bookends and told a story of brotherly love and sacrifice, serving as a reminder that leaders possess supportive networks. 

On behalf of Pitman’s Spiritual Life Committee, resident Marion Burrowes, presented a balance scale. It symbolizes the qualities necessary for leadership: maintain balance, focus on the present while also looking to the future, kindness, thoughtfulness, humor, strength, and humility, while staying aligned to the mission.

Mr. Scalese acknowledged and thanked United Methodist Communities at Pitman residents, the choir, organization-wide associates, professional colleagues, friends, and his family for their presence. Centering on the theme of service, he stated, “Service takes many forms. These actions remind us of the little things that are so important. We all need a generosity of spirt that is open to accepting the service of those we serve.”

For additional information about United Methodist Communities at Pitman, call Michele Sesok at 856-589-7800 or visit Pitman/UMCommunities.org.