Mary Jane Wilson ParsonsSince 2013, the Duke Endowment has funded summer literacy programs in North Carolina designed to engage United Methodist rural churches and improve literacy among elementary school students in their communities. These summer literacy programs are providing more than just building confidence for the children. These host churches are providing nurturing relationships, nutritious meals, daily enrichment activities, and more importantly, a safe space for families to engage and chart a path for the future.

I met Reverend Mary Jane Wilson-Parsons in June 2018. She is the co-pastor at Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. She recognized a need in her community, beyond the resort golf courses and high net worth retirees, that there are large pockets of poverty where underprivileged elementary children needed help. They needed help with basic literacy skills, especially during the summer months. This is called the “summer slide.”

I found a unique intersection in this story. One that we at Gray Digital Group were telling for the Duke Endowment, to recruit more United Methodist Churches in North Carolina to host summer literacy programs. The Church was a safe space to teach literacy, not the schools. A safe space for children, parents, teachers, and community partners to come together under one roof. One church roof. Their mission is to provide social justice for these children in the form of literacy skills so they could overcome the summer slide and perform just as well as other students in their classrooms.

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Reverend Mary J: I think our faith naturally leads to action, and service, and love.

Bobby Rettew: Welcome to Intersection. I’m Bobby Rettew.

Reverend Mary J: My name is Reverend Mary Jane Wilson-Parsons. I’m co-pastor at Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.

Bobby Rettew: What is your greatest passion?

Reverend Mary J: My greatest passion is to assist others to learn how to be the hands and feet of Christ, to learn what their ministry is, as disciples of Christ and to help them to be equipped in the world to go out and serve.

Bobby Rettew: Since 2013, The Duke Endowment has funded Summer Literacy Programs in North Carolina designed to engage United Methodist rural churches and improve literacy among elementary school students and their communities. These Summer Literacy Programs are providing more than just building confidence for the children. These host churches are providing nurturing relationships, nutritious meals, daily enrichment activities, and more importantly, a safe space for families to engage and chart a path for the future. I met Reverend Mary Jane Wilson-Parsons in June, 2018. She is a co-pastor at Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. She recognized the need in her community, beyond the resort golf courses and high net worth retirees, that there are large pockets of poverty where underprivileged elementary children needed help. They needed help with basic literacy skills, especially during the summer months. This is called the summer slide. I found a unique intersection in this story, one that we at Gray Digital Group are telling for the Duke Endowment, to recruit more United Methodist churches in North Carolina, to host Summer Literacy Programs. The church was a safe space to teach literacy, not the schools, a safe space for children, parents, teachers and community partners to come together under one roof, one church roof. Their mission is to provide social justice for these children in the form of literacy skills, so they could overcome the summer slide and perform just as well as other students in their classrooms.

Bobby Rettew: Describe where is Sunset Beach, it is where in North Carolina as it relates to the Outer Banks and all the other stuff.

Reverend Mary J: Okay, Sunset Beach is in the extreme Southeast corner of the state. It is just North of Myrtle Beach. It is about an hour South of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Bobby Rettew: And who lives here? When I rode here, I saw golf courses and golf courses, and golf courses and golf courses. Who lives here?

Reverend Mary J: We have a lot of retirees that live in this area. Folks who have retired from professional careers of all sorts. The gamut, you name it, from teachers, to doctors, to lawyers, to all kinds of professional people, people who’ve worked in the government.

Bobby Rettew: So it’s a pretty good wide array, but to put this in context, our connection is through the Duke Endowment. So working on a project together about literacy here at Seaside, but the Duke Endowment funds … One of the areas that it’s most committed to is United Methodist Church specifically, Methodist Church in North Carolina, the rural church, and you’re considered a rural church. First of all, let’s describe the rural church of North Carolina. What does that mean? And then let’s talk about Seaside. So describe that.

Reverend Mary J: I think many rural churches in North Carolina are isolated from one another, isolated from communities. They’re small churches, sometimes they’re struggling churches, but they’re very disconnected. There’s a lot of geography in North Carolina that is rural. So we are located in Brunswick County, not in one of the municipalities of Brunswick County. And so we are considered a rural church. We are a bit of an anomaly, because we are a very large rural church. We are a church of 1000 numbers. We have about 525, 535 and three worship services every Sunday morning.

Bobby Rettew: Talk about volunteering. When we talked last time, in our interview for this project we’re working on, this video we’ll share later at some point, we sat down and had a conversation about the volunteering here, that people come here to retire and then they get bored. Describe that for us.

Reverend Mary J: Okay, so people do come from all over the State of North Carolina and other parts as well. Seaside is affectionately referred to as the Yankee Church of the area. So we have many people that come in from up north to retire, and they come here because there are hundreds of holes of golf to play here. Many golf courses, beautiful golf courses, beautiful subdivisions, and a beautiful beach, beautiful beaches. And they come here thinking that they’re going to sit on the beach and read books, or they’re going to play golf every day. And after they do that for about six months, they’re bored, and they’re wanting to do something more significant with their lives.

Bobby Rettew: And that’s why you have the congregation demographic that you have. Describe that for us.

Reverend Mary J: Yes, it’s a professional congregation. It is an awesome, awesome congregation, diverse congregation of professional retired people with vast experience in all walks of life and so much to give to the community.

Bobby Rettew: So this is an interesting thing. I grew up in a Baptist Church. And when I think about the church, I look across a space and there’s a lot of families with children, you have a population of retirees, but it’s really families. This is more of a retired group, the age group is the older generation, and many people would think, “Well, if it’s the old generations, the church is going to slowly die out.” But you said it’s more, people come here and retire, and then they go back home. And then there’s always a good group of people coming through here.

Reverend Mary J: Yes.

Bobby Rettew: Talk about that, that unique position that you have here.
Reverend Mary J: Yes. So at Seaside we have about a 20 year window of our retirees being here. They retire around anywhere from 55 to 65, generally. And then they live here for 15, 20, maybe 22 years. And then at that point, their health becomes such that they need to move back to be closer to families, or perhaps they pass away. So these are the active years of retirement, and they come with time on their hands and with money to spend, and enthusiasm.

Bobby Rettew: And there’s a lot of volunteering going on here.

Reverend Mary J: Yes, there is.

Bobby Rettew: I mean, it’s Tuesday, what’s happening? I walked in the church and it’s busy, it’s Tuesday morning.

Reverend Mary J: Tuesday morning. Boom. So every Tuesday morning, throughout the whole year, we have our food pantry that receives people from Brunswick County, who need food assistance supplement to supplement what they have already. And so we receive about 50, 60 families on a normal week. The clients come in, they receive the food that we purchase from the local food bank, also that is supplemented with food resources, donations from the various grocery stores in the area. And then after they’ve received their food, they can get their blood pressure checked by one of our health and wellness nurses, and then they can go down to the Edge of the Field Freestore, Edge of the Field, being a reference to the book of Ruth and how people glean from … The poor come and glean from the edge of the field in order to eat. And and the free store, there’s clothing, there’s house goods, there’s diapers, things that they can have for free to help them.

Bobby Rettew: And there’s something else going on.

Reverend Mary J: Yes.

Bobby Rettew: And I love this section because this is when, to paint a picture how she gets excited. The first time I interviewed about this you not only got excited, but you cried. What else is going on here?
Reverend Mary J: Well, just this week we started the fifth year of our STARS program, STARS is Seaside Teaching and Reaching Students. It is a six week literacy camp for rising second, third and fourth graders in our now two target schools in southern Brunswick County.

Bobby Rettew: So let’s paint the picture of the need, talk about the need here.

Reverend Mary J: Okay, so there are at least two Brunswick counties, really. There are the beautiful subdivisions with beautiful homes and manicure golf courses, that line the edge of the coast and the people who come here with money, resources and time resources. But then there’s the other Brunswick County, the working poor, who may be working three or four jobs just to make ends meet from month to month. And they are struggling in so many ways.

Bobby Rettew: And this camp is really serving who? Now obviously the families, there’s a need, but let’s get down to the even more intentional need here, the children. Talk about the need by the children.

Reverend Mary J: So Brunswick County is just like every other county in the country. We have a drug problem here. And so we have families where the adults are caught up in drugs, and the children are suffering, because of that, no fault of their own. They just happened to be in a family where the adults are caught up in the addiction of drugs or alcohol. We have Hispanic families who have come from perhaps very dangerous places, and they’re trying to help their children to find a better life. They are working very hard. But sometimes they’re limited in language. And they need help to be able to help their children to learn the language and to become a part of this community, then we have just the working poor who are so struggling with jobs that don’t provide a livable wage, and so they’re working multiple jobs. And so the children get left out of that equation sometimes, because the parents are just working themselves to death, frankly.

Bobby Rettew: So it’s at the end of the school year, the kids are out of school now, and they go home and they’re back in an environment that doesn’t promote literacy. And we’ve seen the research, let’s talk about the research a little bit, the summer slide.

Reverend Mary J: Yes.

Bobby Rettew: Talk about the summer slide for children regardless of socio-economic situations. But then let’s put it into context of this. Talk about the summer slide.

Reverend Mary J: Yes, so in the summertime, there there might be some slide among all children because they’re not in class. They’re not reading every day. They’re not engaging with books. But the more affluent children, the children and higher socioeconomic levels, they’re going on vacations, they’re going to museums, they’re continuing to engage because their parents have time and resources, financial resources that can help those children to engage. So this summer slump or slide is not as great for them or maybe not at all. Whereas children from lower socioeconomic groups or children that are living in homes where the parents are struggling just to understand English, they are really sliding backwards over the summer months. And so then when the kids all come back to school and the fall, they’ve not only lost some of what they learned the year before, but they’ve lost over the course of the summer.

Bobby Rettew: And so this is why this was created, is to help those students and these children in lower economic statuses not deal with that summer slide or prevent that?

Reverend Mary J: Right.

Bobby Rettew: Talk about the vision of this program and how it was created. And what has it turned into be.

Reverend Mary J: okay, so, STARS began as a conversation between myself and a couple of church members who wanted to see some kind of an after-school program. And what we thought, to begin with was that we would help kids who were latchkey children, more of a true after-school program, like a homework center or something. With the help of the Duke Endowment, we expanded that vision tremendously, to think more in terms of that summer slump, that summer reading loss, and helping children who lose ground every summer to not lose that ground, but to help them and these children that are identified by our target schools, we know that even though they are just maybe rising second graders, they are already falling behind their classmates. And so second, third, and fourth graders that are beginning to fall behind all ready, they’re not where they need to be in their reading. And if we don’t help them catch up, they’re never going to catch up.

Bobby Rettew: I was just in the classroom with … There’s four classrooms at the church. And I’ve walked through, I’ve been taking pictures and capturing video. And I look at the faces and I was thinking about my children. And then I thought about them, and I was listening to the teachers work with them. And I was just amazed how their faces lit up. The moment that they got out of the car and walk through the door. Talk about what this means to these kids.

Reverend Mary J: Oh, my gosh. Just last night, after the parent family dinners that we have on Monday nights, one of the STARS kids … Now this was at the end of the very first day of STARS for this year, one of the little girls walked up to me and she said, “I want to stay here. Can I just stay here all night.” And, and just, “I want to stay here forever.” And by the end of the six weeks, man they are super pumped. They want to come back here every summer. They love it. Even though they’re sitting in classrooms in the mornings with teachers from the school system, and teachers assistance from the school system, they’re just loving it.
Bobby Rettew: You’re wiping your tears. Why?

Reverend Mary J: It touches my heart that these children are … That we’re ministering to the children.

Bobby Rettew: Let’s talk about how we’re ministering to them.

Reverend Mary J: Okay.

Bobby Rettew: I think about and I want to set context here, for me personally. I have a daughter who’s six, will be seven. She’s in kindergarten in first grade, and we just had twins. And we’ve had a conversation about that. And the first year with the twins was a very tough year. And she started kindergarten, and kindergarten became her happy place. Because our house was just crazy. I mean, we were just trying to figure out how to take care of twins, and she was dropped into this world of not just a new brother, but two new brothers and parents who are trying to figure this out. And so school was a happy place for her. But we love her and we give her … We have the resources, we have the time, the energy. And then I thought about that for a second about the children here who we don’t know what homes they’re coming out of. And so to see that engagement is amazing to understand. Described that, why do you think these kids are not only excited about learning? What else are they excited about?

Reverend Mary J: This place gives them hope for so many different reasons. Some of them are not eating during the summer, not eating very much. We know that they’re nutrition insufficient for the summertime. We’ve seen through the years of STARS children hoarding food from the meals that we serve them, or hoarding snacks. They’ll tell us that they’re taking food home to their brothers and sisters, that they want to save part of their lunch so they can take it home to a sibling, so that their sibling has something to eat. We try to minister to that issue through sending home food every weekend for the kids to eat, until they can come back to us on Monday morning. With our parent dinners on Monday nights, we’re feeding the whole family a nutritious meal. And then oftentimes, we’re sending home a bag of food with the families from our food pantry on Monday nights as well, to help supplement what they’re getting from wherever.

Bobby Rettew: Now a quick break to give a quick shout out to the network that supports Intersection. Touch point media, a collection of podcast dedicated to discussions on all things health care, including digital marketing, and online patient engagement strategies, CIO and technology strategies, the challenges of the online position, the power of the e-patient, and most importantly, the power of storytelling. To learn more go to that is, Let’s rejoin the show.

Bobby Rettew: So this camp is about literacy. But it’s more than literacy.

Reverend Mary J: Oh, gosh, yes.

Bobby Rettew: What is this camp really about?

Reverend Mary J: Yeah, so yes, in the mornings, it’s all about literacy and in the afternoons, it’s supplementing the learning that they’ve done in the mornings. But they’re getting music education, they’re going on field trips, they’re seeing places around the county that they’ve never seen before. They’re having retired teachers who have been science teachers coming in working with them. Home Depot comes in and helps them build birdhouses and different things. They’re going to the public library once a week, they’re learning how to use a library and check out books, they’re going swimming on Monday afternoons, they’re learning how to swim. Many of them have never been in a pool before, they’ve never been in the water before. So they’re getting exposed to that. They’re going to First Tee, and they’re learning leadership skills through the First Tee program. They’re learning art, all kinds of things are happening in the afternoons.

Bobby Rettew: So in order to learn, you have to be able to have teachers?

Reverend Mary J: That’s right.

Bobby Rettew: Talk about who teaches this, who are these people that are leading these things?

Reverend Mary J: In the mornings, we hire teachers from the school system, and teachers assistants from the school system. We’re able to do that through the gracious gifts of the Duke Endowment. In the afternoon. it’s all volunteers, except for a couple of leadership positions that are overseeing. We have 70 to 80 volunteers here every summer from the church and the community. They come in and lead all kinds of different activities with the kids.

Bobby Rettew: So you have to be able to attract certified teachers to lead these programs. Is it hard to find these teachers? And talk about that a little bit?

Reverend Mary J: No, it’s not hard to find these teachers, in fact, because unfortunately, North Carolina teachers are not paid very well. And so many times the teachers in the summertime are working at McDonald’s, or they’re cleaning beach houses or doing other jobs to supplement their income in the summertime. That and I mean, I could talk about that for days too. So to have a well paying job in the summertime, where they’re using their skills and looks great on their resume. I’m sure it’s a blessing for them.

Bobby Rettew: And we’ve talked … I’ve interviewed the teachers, and the first thing they talk about is, “This is a place that I can come and really teach, that in the school system by the curriculum, I have to follow certain guidelines. But I can come to Seaside or I can come to a rural church and I can not only teach but I can also intermix my faith in there too.” Talk about the joy that the teachers bring, that’s different, that they get to do something beyond the scope of their normal year. Can you can you share a little bit about that.

Reverend Mary J: They do have more freedom here to … They have a smaller class size, every teacher has an assistant, which they don’t necessarily have during the school year. So you have maybe eight to 10 kids in a room with an assistant, you’re doing a lot of one on one work with kids that you’re not able to do in the public school sphere.

Bobby Rettew: So this grant from the Duke Endowment is serving the children, it’s serving the parents and it’s serving the teachers too. Pretty smart stuff.

Reverend Mary J: And don’t forget about how it’s serving the volunteers as well, because their horizons are being broadened, they’re seeing things that maybe they’ve never seen before. They’re having an opportunity to minister to children and minister to families that they probably would never have interacted with if it had not been for the STARS Program.

Bobby Rettew: So, let’s talk about outcomes of the STARS program. It’s got to be successful, if you keep on doing it.

Reverend Mary J: Yes.

Bobby Rettew: It’s got to hit some metrics, because the Duke Endowment really encourage tracking, talk about the success of the program each year.

Reverend Mary J: So, we have to smile because I’m the Harvard researcher, that the Endowment brought on board to help us to see positive outcomes and to track data, she was skeptical when she first started working with our program and with the Ubuntu Program which is in state school, across the state. And she didn’t see how a six week program could make a real positive impact, really move the needle for these kids. And after she looked at the data and saw what was happening in the school system with these children, as we have tried to follow these children now for four years and seeing how they have moved into success in academics, she had to say, “I was wrong, I really didn’t think this would make an impact. But Gosh, darn it, it does.”

Bobby Rettew: So what type of metrics are showing that there is success? Is it increased scores? Talk about the scores and all that stuff.

Reverend Mary J: Yeah, scores are going up. Yeah, double scores. Yes, and then the kids during the school year are doing better academically than they have done in years past. Now we’re still tracking data, and we’re becoming more and more intentional about how we track that data. We’re working toward having a control group, this is what the help of the Endowment again. So we’ll be able to point to even stronger data, I believe, in the years to come.

Bobby Rettew: Why was Dr. Chen from Harvard skeptical? And obviously that’s a question for her, but let’s talk about that skepticism. Why would people be skeptical about a reading program in a church? What do you think?

Reverend Mary J: Well, I guess there might be several reasons why she might be skeptical. First of all, just the brevity of the program, six weeks, half days, in the classroom. How much difference can you make in the lives of children in that short a time? Maybe also resources of people in the church. I think that they … As I’ve said, we have such vast people skills here, life experiences here that people are just so willing to jump in and say, I can help the kids with this or that or whatever.

Bobby Rettew: And I think this leads me to a couple big questions that I have. When I think about reading programs, I think about, “Oh, it’s going to be the library they’re the educator of the community. Oh, it’s gonna be at the elementary school they’re the Educator of the community they understand the needs. Oh, it’s at the church? Whoa, whoa, whoa whoa, whoa.” We had this conversation before, we are iter-mixing education and faith. What’s that all about? Why do you think that combination works?

Reverend Mary J: Christ mandated it. Christ mandated that we be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. When did you see me hungry? And when did you see me thirsty? When did you see me naked? And the great commission as well to go into all the world and make disciples of Jesus Christ and teach and do and be? I think our faith naturally leads to action and service and love.
Bobby Rettew: And would you say that’s created a culture of trust with the children? That they can let down their guard a little bit, when they walk through the doors, that maybe it’s a little bit different from the school.

Reverend Mary J: Yeah.

Bobby Rettew: This is a place of safety. Do you think that children receive that in a different way than may not be expected in other types of reading programs?

Reverend Mary J: I think so. I hope so. I know that they’re pretty terrified when they first walk in
these doors and their families are pretty terrified too. You can really see those walls up around them. And as we work with them, as we are a welcoming community, as we are a community of love and openness, as we try to help the families to succeed, and they see that we are here to help them succeed, and to help their children succeed, then those walls go down and they do warm up to us. And I think that again, just as the volunteers would oftentimes never connect with this community of people, so likewise, this community would never feel like they were welcome or accepted or loved in this place. The STARS Program is a gateway for folks to enter the church, that would never feel welcome in the church, otherwise.

Bobby Rettew: You’re ministering to these children. Through education, through love. The volunteers are ministering, the teachers are ministering. Are the children ministering to you?

Reverend Mary J: Yes. Absolutely. As I said that child last night, “Can I just basically move in and live here?” Yes, their hearts are open, and my heart break for them sometimes for what they’re going through at home.

Bobby Rettew: But you talk about the graduations.

Reverend Mary J: Yes. What a joyful time.

Bobby Rettew: And you talk about … And I guess I’m interested to find out from you. You see such a transformation when they leave?

Reverend Mary J: Yes.

Bobby Rettew: Is that really what makes you keep on doing it or is it the data?

Reverend Mary J: Yeah, it’s both. It’s good to be able to see that the data is backing up what we’re doing, but probably more so the opportunity for the doors of the church to be flung open wide, yes.

Bobby Rettew: And the reason why I love this so much, and I really wanted to spend time with you this morning is, the vision behind the Duke Endowment is to scale this, take it across North Carolina, and they have to get certain churches on board to figure out, to get it in the right place, to scale it. So if they’re going to scale it, obviously, there’s a need. And the churches is the beacon of the community.

Reverend Mary J: It used to be the beacon ethic community, I’m not sure that it always says anymore.

Bobby Rettew: But how do you think this could transfer transform North Carolina, through the rural church? How do you think this could truly impact if it was able to scale?

Reverend Mary J: This is an opportunity for the local church and the rural community to really make a difference in the lives of their communities. To become that beacon of hope, again.

Bobby Rettew: The mainline church is struggling right now. They’re trying to be more intentional, where their outreach is, their congregations are shifting. What told you, “We’re not going to do these other things, we are focusing here, this is our mission.” Because you could be doing so much other stuff within community. What made you so intentional about this?

Reverend Mary J: It was led by the Holy Spirit. That’s all I can say, that we-

Bobby Rettew: But sometimes you don’t listen to the Holy Spirit, what made you listen say, “You know what, we got to do this.”

Reverend Mary J: I think the Holy Spirit was speaking through those two people that came to my office door and said, “We got to talk about what we can do for the children.” When I put it out to the congregation one Sunday morning, and in sermons and in all three of our services and people just flooded me after the service and said, “Sign me up, sign me up, sign me.” The Holy Spirit was speaking to those folks that morning, and it was just evident that this is what we needed to do, this is where we needed to go. And then going to Annual Conference, sitting in the back of the Annual Conference room and writing the grant to the Endowment with June Atkinson, the s Head of Public Instruction, there as a keynote speaker that year, just telling the whole Annual Conference, how great, how dire the need is, that we help children in our communities.

Bobby Rettew: Why should other churches consider taking on literacy as an initiative in their communities, especially in North and South Carolina?

Reverend Mary J: It is a win-win-win. We minister to the children in the name of Jesus Christ, we minister to their families, we become a congregation that the community looks to and says, “That church is making a difference in the community. That church is where we want to go.” And we’ve had so many people that have come to this church, to connect with this church, because they would ask people in the community when they retire here, “Where’s a good church to go to?” And people point to Seaside and they say, “That church is involved in missions, that church is making a difference.”

Bobby Rettew: And it’s an amazing connection also with the Duke Endowment, where they see it too. How important has that relationship been to make this possible?
Reverend Mary J: It’s been tremendously important because they helped us to catch the broader vision of the literacy camp. It’s helped us to engage more volunteers. Our capacity has grown and our volunteer outreach, our connection with the community, with civic groups, with other nonprofits in the county. And then to connect with the families on a more meaningful level than just … If we had followed that dream of an after-school program, it would have been a good program and we would have helped some kids. But man, we are really making a difference. We’re connecting with the families, not only the children, but the families. And it’s a lasting connection.

Bobby Rettew: I want to wrap this up because you’re a busy woman. But last couple thoughts that I’ve always been inspired by, is I’ve worked with a lot of different foundations, and the work of the Duke Endowment isn’t really talked about much, it’s an undercurrent. You don’t hear about them much. But the work is amazing work. From your perspective, how would you talk about them? How would you share what their impact has been in this community?

Reverend Mary J: It’s been tremendous. We could not have done the work here at Seaside in this literacy program, if it were not for the Endowment. We are deeply indebted to the endowment both in support, encouragement, training, as well as the financial pace and they’re invested for the long haul. My husband and I were involved in another grant, in another community where we worked with women and children in poverty. And they were with us in that program, too. So, the Duke Endowment has a long-term investment in making rural North Carolina a stronger place and a better place.

Bobby Rettew: Last question. What makes this rural church so special to you?

Reverend Mary J: The combination of people who are seeking to know Jesus Christ, to grow their faith and to engage in ministry in meaningful ways. It is truly an exciting place to be.

Bobby Rettew: And I just want to really commend you for this program. I have to say when I walked in, I was kind of like Dr. Chen, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And then I met the people and we interviewed and we talked and I saw the passion. I heard it from the volunteers I heard it from the teachers, I heard it from you. And then I saw this morning, capturing the imagery of the children and there’s … You just can’t describe it, can you?

Reverend Mary J: It’s magical, it’s of God. It truly is of God. Thank you for helping us to get this word out. So that other places, other churches can find that magic that’s of God.

Bobby Rettew: You’re also my new favorite friend. Mary Jane Wilson-Parsons. Is it pastor or co-pastor? Is that, what’s the-

Reverend Mary J: Co-pastor.

Bobby Rettew: Co-pastor of Seaside church. Thank you so much.

Reverend Mary J: Thank you.

Bobby Rettew: Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the conversation and exploration. Most importantly, the many intersections inside the world of storytelling. Intersection is powered by Touchpoint Media and Network. Podcast dedicated to discussion on all things healthcare. Go to for many other podcasts exploring digital marketing and online patient engagement strategies. CIO, new technology strategies, the challenge of the online physician. A power of the e-patient, and most importantly, the power of storytelling. To learn more, go to That is, Have a good day.