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United Methodists Living T heir Faith S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R

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TO BE A WITNESS (UNITED THE REFORMATION GETTING PEOPLE METHODIST-STYLE) AND THE WESLEYS INTO THE MIX


Explore the life of Joseph this Christmas season From his beginnings as a humble carpenter to his all-important role as the earthly father of Jesus Christ, Joseph’s words were never recorded, but his courageous actions were crucial to the birth of Christ and God’s salvation plan for humanity. Join Adam Hamilton as he examines Christmas through the eyes of Joseph whose place in the nativity story is sometimes overlooked but contains valuable lessons for us all.

From the author of The Journey and Not a Silent Night.

Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of The Church of the Resurrection in

Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country. Hamilton is the best-selling and award-winning author of Moses, Creed, Half Truths, The Call, The Journey, The Way, 24 Hours That Changed the World, John, Revival, and Not a Silent Night.

Learn more about Faithful at AdamHamilton.org


Contents SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

Faith and Work 16

Faith undergirds attitudes, actions in the workplace

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Creating a culture of call

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Practicing Faith at Work: Ben Papa

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Practicing Faith at Work: Aly King

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Valuing work and workers part of UM social witness

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Teachers have a calling to their schools

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Practicing Faith at Work: Gary Walden

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Practicing Faith at Work: Jaime Gallega

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Campus ministries connect career, ministry options

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Unusual staff positions benefit churches

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Practicing Faith at Work: Carlenda Smith

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Contents

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United Methodist Communications, Inc. September/October 2017 Vol. 61, No. 5 Interpreter (ISSN 0020-9678 Periodical #9154) is published six times a year by United Methodist Communications, 810 12th Ave. S., P.O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320; 615-742-5107; www.interpretermagazine. org. Periodicals postage paid at Nashville, Tenn., and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Interpreter, P.O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320. Subscription Questions: For individual subscriptions, duplicate/ missing issues, enrollment forms and subscription corrections, call 888-346-3862 or e-mail subscriptions@umcom.org.

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F E AT U R E S

D E PA RT M E N T S

42 The Reformation and the Wesleys: A complex relationship John Wesley agreed with much of Martin Luther’s thinking on justification by faith and added the concept of sanctification.

46 To be a witness (United Methodist-style) What does it mean when we vow to support the church with our witness?

6 Publisher’s Page

Advertising: Contact Fox Associates, Inc., Fox-Chicago, 116 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL 60654; 312-644-3888, 800-4400231, 800-440-0232; (Fax) 312-644-8718

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The publication of advertising in Interpreter does not constitute endorsement by Interpreter, United Methodist Communications or The United Methodist Church. Advertisers and their agencies assume liability for all content of advertisements printed or representations made therein.

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Reprints: Local churches, districts, annual conferences and other United Methodist-related entities may reprint, photocopy or create Web links to any materials from Interpreter, except items bearing a copyright notice. Please include “Reprinted from Interpreter Magazine, a publication of United Methodist Communications” and add the issue date on your copies. For more information, call 615-742-5107.

Publisher Dan Krause announces a major change for Interpreter. Students organize weekly prayer breakfasts, angels fill a churchyard and Food Truck Fridays reach out to new people and support missions. Celebrate World Communion Sunday and Laity Sunday, register for Exploration 2017 and learn about racial justice grants.

United Methodists Living T heir Faith S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R

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14 ‘We asked ...;’ ‘You said ....’ How do you carry your faith or practice being a disciple of Jesus Christ in your workplace?

COVER PHOTO: © Storm / Adobe Stock

Change of Address: Send the mailing label with your new address and name of your church to Interpreter Subscriptions, P.O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320; call 888346-3862, or e-mail subscriptions@umcom.org. Allow six weeks for changes. Indicate if you hold any offices.

48 I am United Methodist Tammy Lovell loves children – at school and at church.

50 Technology Church fills The Mix with technology to support budding entrepreneurs.

TO BE A WITNESS (UNITED THE REFORMATION GETTING PEOPLE METHODIST-STYLE) AND THE WESLEYS INTO THE MIX

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United Methodist Interpreter

Publisher | Dan Krause Editor | Kathy Noble Design | GUILDHOUSE Group Editorial Assistant | Polly House Contributing Editor | Julie Dwyer Multimedia Editor | Joey Butler Photographer | Mike DuBose Photo Researcher | Kathleen Barry Advertising Manager | Jane Massey Production Manager | Carlton Loney Subscription Fulfillment | 888-346-3862


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As times change...

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Dan Krause

elcome to the September/ October 2017 issue of Interpreter. At United Methodist Communications, we refer to Interpreter as the “official program journal of The United Methodist Church.” However, whether you are holding the print version in your hands or perusing the digital version online, what you have is a collection of stories – stories of what we as United Methodists are doing throughout the world to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

to appreciate the unique connectional nature of our denomination. As I’ve taken more active roles in church leadership, I have appreciated how Interpreter served as a tool to keep me up-to-date on the relevant issues of the Church. When Interpreter began publishing in 1969, the print magazine was the primary way that United Methodists were kept apprised of initiatives and programs within the denomination. Forty-eight years later, 21st century technology provides church members with multiple

that Interpreter, after 48 years, will cease publication following the November/ December 2017 issue. The expense of publishing a print magazine isn’t the best use of denominational resources without a larger base of subscribers. Also, much of the magazine’s content is available through a variety of communications channels, including the denomination’s website, UMC.org. Many of our Interpreter readers also subscribe to other digital publications produced by United Methodist Communications, including

I remember picking up copies of Interpreter over the years, always being struck by how people in churches like mine were living out their faith and reaching out to the world through a variety of ministries. It was in reading Interpreter that I really began

ways to receive information, including emails, social media and websites. This shift in the way people consume information has resulted in a decrease in Interpreter readership over the years. In July, United Methodist Communications announced

United Methodist Now, our member e-newsletter. As we enter the home stretch for Interpreter, I would be remiss not to give a shout out to the Rev. Kathy Noble, long-time Interpreter editor. Kathy’s editorial expertise and deep commitment

UMCOM/KATHLEEN BARRY

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UMCOM/MIKE DUBOSE

The Publisher's Page

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United Methodist Interpreter

to excellence are much appreciated. As she moves into a new role at United Methodist Communications, her experience and insights will help guide us to consider our audiences’ ongoing needs and preferences, as well as determine the best and most effective way to serve those needs. For now, enjoy the current issue, which includes stories on practicing faith in the workplace. You’ll find profiles of a number of people who feel called to their occupation, including an attorney/ mediator, a construction worker and a hairstylist. There is an article about World Communion Sunday and, in recognition of its 500th anniversary, an article about the Reformation and its relationship to United Methodists. Interpreter has served the denomination in the role it has played to communicate the story of The United Methodist Church. As we move into the next era of utilizing new and developing communication technologies, we look forward with excitement to sharing our stories across the globe in exciting, relevant ways that allow even deeper content and interactive tools. Dan Krause is general secretary of United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and publisher of Interpreter.


2017-2020 UNITED METHODIST CHURCH HANDBOOK: THEREFORE, GO NOW AVAILABLE! The Handbook provides comprehensive information about The United Methodist Church. Learn how The United Methodist Church, through its members, is reaching out globally — making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Content includes: • Mission and beliefs of The United Methodist Church • Basic organization and church history • Information on giving opportunities, church structure and a lot more

Use this handbook with: • Church council members, stewardship and other leaders • Visitors to your church • New members and confirmation classes

Order online at https://shop.umc.org; email: csc@umcom.org; call toll-free: (888) 346-3862. Ask for product number #429017. Thank you for making this handbook available through your congregation’s generous support of the World Service Fund apportionment.


Success Stories From Local Churches

It Worked for Us “They know that Jesus would get up early in the morning to go out and pray.”

PBJ Breakfast gets students ready for school

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wice a week, more than 150 students gather early in the morning for PB and J. No, not peanut butter and jelly, but Prayer, Bible and Jesus. The Rev. Jason Wade, associate pastor and youth minister for Gray and Clinton United Methodist churches in Georgia, heads the ministry that led to the two gatherings. On Wednesday mornings, about 125 students gather at Dairy Queen in Gray, a small town of just more than 2,000 people in central Georgia. The mostly student-driven prayer time started about 10 years ago with 10 students. A group of the church youth approached Wade and asked him if he would be willing to join them for a prayer time before school if they were willing to get up and meet. Of course he said, “Yes.” “The Dairy Queen has been so accommodating, just a great partner for us,” Wade said. “They open early for us and offer their full menu.

The kids can order whatever they want, even ice cream for breakfast!” The youth eat together and pray for each other. Wade or a student from the church’s leadership team delivers a short devotional. After PBJ, church buses and individual cars take the kids to the various schools represented. “We have middle school and high school kids from public schools, private schools and some who are homeschooled,” Wade said. “We have (United) Methodist kids, other church kids and unchurched kids attending. We also have some youth leaders and parents who come.” The same type of event happens on Friday mornings at Chick-Fil-A in Milledgeville, Georgia, about 25 miles from Gray. About 40 kids and adults attend. Some of the adults are church youth leaders, while others are just curious about what goes on at the gatherings.

“For some of the parents, they are just checking us out,” Wade said. “And we love that! For some of the parents it is an introduction of what our youth ministry is. They can come sit in on the prayer breakfast and see who we are and what we do. It’s a family atmosphere. We have about 95 percent kids and 5 percent adults.” Wade said Chick-Fil-A has been just as accommodating in Milledgeville as the Dairy Queen has in Gray. “Like Dairy Queen, they offer their entire menu to the kids.” The breakfast gatherings help students learn ministry leadership skills. “We want them to learn how to lead and be prepared to go to college with these leadership skills,” he said. “They do a great job. They really take ownership of the program. My goal is to work myself out of a job.” Wade thinks the fact that kids from different denominations get together to meet and pray before school

is significant. In spite of some of the denominational differences, “they get it that our main goal is for them to understand they all work toward the same goal. They know that Jesus would get up early in the morning to go out and pray. They want to do the same thing,” he said. Polly House, editorial assistant for Interpreter, is a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gray United Methodist Church | 117 South Jefferson, Gray, GA 31032 | 478-986-3668 | officegrayumc@gmail.com | www.grayumc.com | Rev. Jay C. Tucker, senior pastor | Average worship attendance: 383 | Clinton United Methodist Church | 110 Old Highway 18, Gray, GA 31032 | 865-457-0803 | churchofchristclinton@gmail.com | Average worship attendance: 57 | South Georgia Conference

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United Methodist Interpreter


Success Stories From Local Churches

it worked for us

Angels in the yard provide honor, comfort Each angel is bought by a member of the congregation and dedicated to honor a person or group during the annual Chrismon service. After the Chrismon tree is decorated, the congregation shares a special litany before lighting the angels. The display of four-foot angels begins the first Sunday in December. It remains until January when the United Methodist Men and other volunteers disassemble them. The tradition of decorating the yard with angels began in 2003 when Sue Ellen Rosen came to North Raleigh Church with hopes of passing on a tradition from her parents’ church in Virginia. “Every year we see the tradition grow. It started with 90 angels and

has grown to over 200,” says Rosen. Volunteers of all ages come from the church and community to help make Angels fill the yard of North Raleigh United Methodist the display Church in North Carolina during the Advent and possible. Christmas seasons Each angel community. It is a subtle, yet holds a special meaning, powerful message that angels especially to those who have of our loved ones are always lost loved ones and find the with us,” Rosen says. holidays to be a difficult time. They often find comfort in Taylor Bush served a six-week the angels by dedicating one summer internship at United to their lost friend or family Methodist Communications. member and visit it during She is now a sophomore at the Christmas time. “The tradiUniversity of Georgia majoring tion can be a very important in entertainment and media. part of the healing process for some members of the COURTESY SUE ELLEN ROSEN

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uring the Christmas season, angels can be found on tree tops, in nativity scenes and covering the front lawn of North Raleigh United Methodist Church in North Carolina. Anyone driving past the church may feel the need to stop and admire the 200 white angels that stand side-by-side. The angels stand in honor of family, church members and small groups such as Sunday school classes. “It is a beautiful visual display of the season,” says the Rev. Eric Lindblade, the now retired co-senior pastor of North Raleigh UMC. “It has even led people who have driven past and seen the angels to come and join the church.”

North Raleigh United Methodist Church | 8501 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh, NC 27615 | 919-847-1536 | info@nrumc.org | www.nrumc.org | Rev. Duke Lackey, senior pastor | Average worship attendance: 937 | North Carolina Conference

Fridays bring food trucks, fundraising

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etween 70 and 80 food trucks are parked throughout Bloomington, Indiana, on any given day. Deciding where to eat lunch can be a tough decision, but not on Fridays. On Friday, approximately 2,000 people make their way to a food truck festival hosted by The Chocolate Moose in community with Bloomington’s First United Methodist Church. “Food Truck Fridays” started in 2013 when The

Chocolate Moose, owned by a member of First Church, decided to rally food trucks in one area. The weekly festival was held in the ice cream parlor’s parking lot until 2017 when the church started hosting. The church property offers room for live music and additional food trucks. Now, 12 to 15 trucks gather weekly for the 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. event. “We wanted to support something in our community that went beyond our church

walls,” says Brandon Pfeiffer, director of communications for the church. The church chooses a different charity each month to be represented at the Food Truck Fridays. The organization receives recognition on stage and donations. The charities are usually well known to Bloomington locals. The church hopes to increase the fundraising for the charities by organizing games to get people more involved.

Food Truck Fridays have grown tremendously since 2013 and attract a variety of supporters. Many are members of Bloomington First Church, but others come to support their local musicians, charities and food trucks. “People at the event have said that it makes the church seem more welcoming,” says Pfeiffer. “It reaches people who aren’t involved with the church otherwise.” Taylor Bush

First United Methodist Church | 219 E. 4th St., Bloomington, IN 47408 | 812-332-6396 | bpfeiffer@fumcb.org | www.fumcb.org | Rev. Mark Fenstermacher, lead pastor | Indiana Conference

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World Communion Scholarship eases college life

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aelin Travis believes in paying it forward. The World Communion Sunday scholarship recipient attends Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, where she’s pursuing a degree in agriculture. She said her family and faith have played a big role in shaping the person she’s become. Her family has always supported her, she said, as has her home church, St. Paul United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Members

are “always encouraging me and calling to check on me while I’m away at school.” It was a church member who alerted Travis and her family to the World Communion Sunday scholarship. Offerings United Methodists make on the Special Sunday – Oct. 1 this year – fund the awards. “Receiving this scholarship has lessened the financial burden and has allowed me to concentrate solely on my studies,” she said. It also pushes her to work even harder. “Knowing that people

Laity Sunday is Oct. 15

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herefore, Go! with HOPE Through Hospitality” is the theme for Laity Sunday 2017. It will be observed Oct. 15. Often, when thinking of hospitality, we consider it through the lens of how we receive guests in our midst. But the reality is we practice hospitality wherever we are, even when we are outside our home or church. We also receive hospitality. How we do both — offer and receive — reflects how we live out the calling of God upon our lives. The call of God is active, and it compels us to live out the Great Commission:

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age” (Matthew 28:1920, CEB). Where in the Great Commission does it say, “Therefore, come!”? It doesn’t. It says, “Therefore, go!” Jesus modeled the Great Commission for us as he sent out disciples who shared HOPE by proclaiming the message that “God’s kingdom

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Watch as students tell their stories and learn more about how World Communion Sunday brings the Body of Christ together.

Kaelin Travis

thought enough about me to give makes me want to work even harder to show my appreciation,” she said. In addition to her studies, Travis is a member of the Alcorn cheer squad and The National Society of Leadership and Success. She also volunteers at cheer camps for students in the surrounding area and works with youth groups sponsored by Zeta Phi

Beta Sorority Incorporated. After Alcorn, Travis plans to attend graduate school and hopes to work as a health inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture one day. Her faith will continue to play an important role in her life and her career. “Caring and sharing with those who don’t have has been instilled in me from both my parents and my church family. My faith is the reason so many have helped me and I believe in paying it forward and one day helping someone just as I was helped.” Adapted from an article at www. umcgiving.org/wcs by Julie Dwyer, general church content editor, United Methodist Communications.

GIVE ON OCT. 1 One of six Special Sundays with Offerings, gifts on World Communion Sunday provide World Communion scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program. Learn more and find resources to promote it at www.umcgiving.org/wcs.

COURTESY DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES

Inspiration & Resources

has come upon you.” Jesus sent them out, to reach out and to receive new people into the kingdom of God. Jesus taught them how they were to go out and make new disciples. On Laity Sunday, The United Methodist Church celebrates that God calls laity as well as clergy to go and make disciples. We are called to be the church together in a world so desperately in need of hope. Therefore, go!

United Methodist Interpreter

Go to www. umcdiscipleship.org/ resources/laity-sunday2017-therefore-gowith-hope-throughhospitality to download free Laity Sunday 2017 Worship Planning helps. Among them are a worship planning guide, a poster, a bulletin cover, a bulletin insert, a Facebook image and a Twitter image. Adapted from an article by Jodi Cataldo, director of Laity in Leadership, Discipleship Ministries, Nashville, Tennessee.


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Young people’s racial justice projects to receive grants

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originating with young people,” said the Rev. Michael Ratliff, associate general secretary at Discipleship Ministries and head of YPM. “Many times the challenge of moving from idea to action is financial.” A total of $65,000 has been allocated for grants to support racial justice projects, including $50,000 from the Connectional Table and $5,000 each from Discipleship Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR). “This will provide seed money of up to $2,500 per proposal to make the ideas of

young people become a reality,” Ratliff said. The grants will be available beginning in September. Information about the application process will be on YPM’s website (www. umcyoungpeople.org), Ratliff said. In July 2016, young black leaders and white allies from each jurisdiction in the United States met in Dallas. They shared their own experiences about racism and developed a common list of printed, online, organizational and people resources related to racial justice. “That event could have ended with a list of to-dos for

the staff of Young People’s Ministries,” Ratliff said. “Instead, it transitioned into a movement with momentum to go forward as a group committed to a new way of being God’s people with each other and in our world. “Whether young people have been hurt by the church or have never attended, it is vital for our faith communities to create a welcoming place where they can experience accepting and loving relationships that transcend racial barriers.” Discipleship Ministries

AN AWARD-WINNING MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO UNITED METHODISTS IN MISSION

Summer 2017 issue

Walking with Today’s Global Migrants Mission Ministries With Global Migrants n Stories from Global Mission Fellows working with migrants in Germany, n n n n n

Belgium, Ireland, and Russia Journeys on the Central America, Mexico, US migration corridor Justice For Our Neighbors across the United States Immigrant churches in the United Arab Emirates An emerging theology from workers on tea plantations in Sri Lanka The amazing life stories of World Communion Scholars

For tablets and smart phones, try accessing New World Outlook articles from www.newworldoutlook.org, optimized for easy reading.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! 4 issues for $16.00, online at http://newworldoutlook.org, or call 1-877-881-2385 • Digital edition for $10 a year

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

United Methodist Interpreter

THE MISSION MAGAZINE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Photo by Paul Jeffrey

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acial justice projects initiated and led by young people seeking a church that is open, loving and caring for all people will receive financial support from The United Methodist Church. Grants of up to $2,500 each will be available under the new program administered by Young People’s Ministries (YPM), a unit of Discipleship Ministries. “During the racism gathering convened by Young People’s Ministries in 2016, the group of young black leaders, allies and Discipleship Ministries staff identified a number of ideas

What happens at Exploration? Experience a small part of the 2013 event.


Inspiration & Resources

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egistration for Exploration, a threeday event to help young adults listen, discern and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry, is now open. The biennial event encourages 18-26-year-olds to explore their gifts for service as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church. Exploration, a program of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, will be Nov. 3-5 in Portland, Oregon. It is for young adults who sense that God might be calling them to ordained ministry, who have wondered what ministry in The United

Methodist Church is all about or who want to learn more about United Methodist seminaries and theological schools. During Exploration, participants engage in meaningful fellowship, passionate worship, theological reflection and practical workshops. The denomination offers several ways to live into vocational ministry. Speakers and workshop leaders will facilitate discussion about the ways of living into a call to church leadership. “The United Methodist Church does not have a shortage of youth and young adults feeling called into

UMNS/KATHY L. GILBERT

Registration open for Exploration 2017

Now retired Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. and the Rev. Juan Huertas, lead pastor of Grace Community United Methodist Church in Shreveport, La., pray with young adults considering ordained ministry during an Exploration event in St. Louis, Missouri.

church leadership,” said the Rev. Trip Lowery, director of young adullt ministry discernment and enlistment at Higher Education and Ministry. “Exploration is a space where those feeling called can continue to discern what their next faithful steps should be,

even if they discern those next steps are not into ordained leadership.” Learn more about Exploration at www.ExploreCalling.org. General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

new degree concentrations

for Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Ministry Students The Concentration in Church Management

will focus on the needs of nonprofit managers in areas including organizational leadership, staff and volunteer management, membership generation, cross-cultural management and targeted marketing. Courses are offered in partnership with SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The Concentration in Social Innovation and Nonprofit Engagement

will focus on innovative approaches to addressing social issues and the needs arising from technological, demographic and societal changes. Courses are offered in partnership with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

perkins.smu.edu SMU will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

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Readers respond

FO R TH IS ISSU E WE ASKED,

Several weeks prior to finishing each issue of Interpreter, we email a question to readers asking them to respond with a short answer of 50-75 words. Find many more responses at Interpreter OnLine, www.interpretermagazine.org.

“How do you carry your faith or practice being a disciple of Jesus Christ in your workplace?”

Y O U S A ID . . .

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At a Good Friday service in 2015, each person was given a hand-carved rooster as a reminder of how we should never deny Jesus Christ. I keep that rooster on my desk. Any guest sitting in front of me cannot avoid the rooster. Inevitably, new visitors will comment on the rooster. I share with them the story of Peter, his denial of Jesus Christ and how I joyfully welcome Christ into my life. It never ceases to amaze me how others are happy to find fellow believers at work. Doreen Bass, Mount Carmel UMC, Frederick, Maryland As a recruiter and human resource manager, gentle witnessing and showing respect for applicants and employees affirmed the value of following a Christian path. My position was specifically jeopardized on more than one occasion when I made recommendations and hires that did not follow the norm. The hires that were “first” – women, culture/color – however brought a positive diversity to our workforce. For me, these successes and avoidance of a single incidence of discrimination were illustrations of the power and grace of God. Diana Braziel, First UMC, Houston, Texas As a physician in a Catholic health care organization, there are several ways I put faith into practice. The culture is to begin all meetings with a “reflection.” I have offered the opening prayer at some of these gatherings. A few years ago, I organized a group of coworkers to study The Purpose Driven Life during Lent. On my visit-encounter form, I ask, “Would you

like prayer today?” and have prayed with patients on occasion when requested. Cathy Bryant, St. Luke’s UMC, Indianapolis, Indiana I have started a prayer team in the office. We do it through email and many come to us for prayer support when they need it. Debbie Conterato, Baker Memorial UMC, St. Charles, Illinois As assistant administrator of a multi-county jail, I see inmates return throughout the years. We get to know the inmates through addiction, sickness, family tragedy and even their apprehension of being released. The inmates often say to me, when they return to jail, “I bet you are upset to see me again.” I tell them, “I’m actually relieved to see you. I know you are once again safe and we will take care of you.” Drew Hildebrand, First UMC, London, Ohio Besides being a part-time pastor, I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. I try to find joy in what I am doing, if it is laundry, dishes, cleaning or even taking out the trash. I want my children to have the peace that only God can give us. When I am out of the home dealing with the rest of the world, I do my best to show patience, peace, empathy and consideration for others. Jesus led by example while he was on the earth. The Rev. Amanda Keller, Norfolk (Arkansas) UMC I carry my faith and practice of being a disciple of Jesus Christ in my work place

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United Methodist Interpreter

by constantly reading the word of God, leading by example and relating well with my coworkers by respecting them. By being considerate and sensitive to other people’s feelings and expressing my love by assisting those who need my help. Chenayi Kumuterera, UMC Head Office, Harare, Zimbabwe I try to perform my work and deal with my co-workers and clients in a manner consistent with the greatest commandment. I don’t proselytize but I never try to do or say anything to conceal my faith. Lynn Moore, Christ UMC, Tulsa, Oklahoma I am a nurse. In my every day work, I strive to avoid joining in gossip and to derail it when I hear it. When others are being judgmental, I try to offer another perspective. When I encounter patients or peers in need, I give. And, most importantly, when a patient or family member is hurting, scared or ill, I ask if I can pray with them. I have never been turned down. Cindy Sadler, Caledonia (Missouri) UMC Having faith in Jesus Christ is always connected to being deeply involved in the ministry with the poor. To be in the ministry with the poor is to re-empower the poor people and communities to attain a better life. We developed ministries with the poor as disciples of Jesus Christ in our workplace: Daily feeding ministry for the coastal slum and tribal malnourished children, provision of potable water for the poor, scholarship ministry for the poor but deserving schoolchildren. The Rev. Elpidio R. Tangunan Jr., Ozamiz City UMC, Philippines


WHEN IT COMES TO ADVENT MATERIALS, THE HARDEST PART IS CHOOSING YOUR FAVORITE. We’re teaming up with Discipleship Ministries to offer communications and worship resources in a variety of Christmas themes, making it even easier to invite the community to your Christmas services. DOOR HANGERS POSTCARDS BANNERS WEB AND SOCIAL IMAGES VIDEOS

WORSHIP GRAPHICS SERMON STARTERS INVITATION CARDS BULLETIN COVERS

Download at umcom.org/advent-resources


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undergirds attitudes, actions in the workplace

BY KATHY NOBLE

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FAITH SHAPES ATTITUDE

“Integrate the inseparable” is the phrase the Center for Faith and Work uses to brand its ministry, the Rev. David H. Kim, the Center’s director, explained. The Center, a ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, is one of the few places focusing on discipleship in the workplace. It sees action there as a means of transforming the culture. Among its emphases is the belief that “God is as present in our work lives as he is in our church lives.” “It’s not a matter of whether you are integrating faith and work, but what faith

SAMUEL BRUXVOORT COLLIGAN

“It sets my focus and lifts my joy in the Lord to view every action and interaction with a sense of divine potential,” he said. “My heart and mind are ready to respond to opportunities to speak and/or show God’s love.” English, a member of First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, Texas, was among more than 200 people who responded to this issue’s “We asked, ‘...?’ You said, ‘....’” question about carrying one’s faith and practicing discipleship in the workplace (page 14). For the past 34 years, English has sold equipment to businesses in the power, petrochemical and refining market along the Texas Gulf Coast. “Talking to God throughout the day and keeping him involved is essential,” English continued. “I have lived the life of ‘the business world’ during the work week and then put on my ‘Christian’ hat on Sunday. Believe me, it’s no way to exist.” Being a disciple of Jesus Christ should guide our actions and attitudes in all settings – including the places we work. Many people spend the majority of their waking hours “at work” – be it as a paid worker, as a volunteer or as a caregiver for loved ones – and with the people there.

you are integrating,” Kim said. “Everyone brings a belief structure into his or her job that can bring meaning into work or make it pretty miserable.” For example, he said, some will cite the promises of Scripture that “God is the basis of our security, our status. Formally, we say we are children of God, but functionally we believe that work is the basis of our security and our status. “Work was meant to be an expression of our identity,” he added. “For many people, it is the source of their identity.” “Faith can bring meaning and nuance to work,” Kim said. It can move one’s perception from work as something done to pay the bills to what “God has given me to be faithful to my family and my community.” Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, a full-time, self-employed psalmist, teaches in the 18-month Faith Alive! program of the Wisconsin Conference. It explores several dimensions Richard Bruxvoort Colligan of the grounded spiritual life. He leads the final module, “Celebrate Vocation!” “For many of us part of our calling is to provide for our family or whoever is in our direct care,” Colligan said. “That means money, shelter, food and safety. A good job can fund all those things, and so fulfill a calling. For many of us, this is a primary calling.”

WORK: INTRINSIC, INSTRUMENTAL, INNOVATIVE

Kim named three ways in which all work – be it cleaning offices, producing food or being the CEO in a Fortune 500 company – matters to God. Embedded in work, he explained, is an intrinsic or inherent value as it is a unique expression of God’s glory. Work can create order out of chaos, giving it an instrumental value; it is a means to another end.

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SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

SARAH BETH TURNER

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GREG ENGLISH PRACTICES WHAT HE CALLS “QUALITY DEVOTION TIME” EACH MORNING.

“Work has innovative value because it is a creative activity we do with God and with other people,” Kim said. “Work is part of our relationship with God, guiding us to understand who we are as beings created in God’s image.” Kim also knows work can sometimes be in conflict with one’s faith, but for many workers, there is little option other than to remain in the job. “The concept of exile can be helpful to think through when being in places that are broken,” Kim counseled. “God can call people to persevere, to stay in brokenness. Their faithfulness could be what God is using to redeem the situation.” He cited passages from Jeremiah 29 and the book of Esther as being helpful in those situations. He cautions that this approach “requires a level of spiritual discernment so we don’t become part of the problem.” He urges being in community to meet the challenges of choosing that option. A lot of decision-making is not black and white and “requires the wisdom of other people as well as the wisdom of God and God’s word,” Kim said. The Rev. David H. Kim

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INTENTIONAL DISCIPLES

How do Christians intentionally practice their discipleship in the work place? “If part of discipleship is being faithful to what we’ve been given and who we are,” said Colligan, “then how we share our lives with the world is a sacramental act. ... If we take the Apostle Paul’s model of church being the Body of Christ and each part being essential, then we can trust that our diversity and our differences are indeed a gift to the world. I think most people find this intensely challenging. I’d go so far as to say most Christians, as much as we talk a good game, do not believe it. Instead, we place hoops and levels and litmus tests on what the faithful life looks like. “To me to practice one’s discipleship is a dance with our maker and the world we long to serve, and that dance looks different for each of us.”

PRACTICES VARY

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The ways in which Interpreter readers practice discipleship in their workplace vary. They ranged from the covert witness of how one treats co-workers and is a steward of resources to the more overt of exhibiting religious symbols on jewelry or as office décor, doing Bible study at one’s workspace, talking about matters of faith, establishing prayer groups or, when invited, praying. It can even mean feeding hungry assistants.

RESOURCES FOR INTEGRATING FAITH AND WORK

»» A Life-Shaping Prayer: 52 Meditations in the Wesleyan Tradition, Paul Wesley Chilcote, The Upper Room »» On-the-Job Prayers, William Thompson, ACTA Publications »» Center for Faith & Work on-line courses and other resources, www.equip.faithandwork.com

Mary Harriet Talbut is a member of New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson, Missouri, and an instructional designer at Missouri State University. One of her first graduate assistants – a javelin thrower on the track team – “revealed” one day that he was hungry. He didn’t have any food because it was the end of the semester. Talbut quickly

provided some snacks. She now hosts “a meal at the end of the semester when I feed the students because they are hungry.” The university has also established a food pantry for students and faculty who may need food. Talbut also prays with her students “when they come to me with concerns.” A member of First United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, David Kingsworthy works in the operations department at Morbark, Inc. He is part of a small prayer group that meets every Wednesday noon at a salt pile on the campus. “We pray for each other, our company, our co-workers and the world at large,” he said. The group is at least 10 years old. While he learned about it through word-ofmouth, others have been invited. He said, “Numbers have fluctuated over my time with the group, but there always seems to be at least two who show up.” (Matthew 18:20) The Rev. Frank J. “Buzz” Trexler is the bivocational pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa, Tennessee, and editor of the town’s daily newspaper. “As a journalist, I have been able to keep an eye out for issues that also relate to my discipleship, such as hunger and homelessness. In doing so, I have seen various ministries grow out of our coverage.”

MORNING DEVOTIONS SET TONE

Cited most often as an aid to practicing discipleship in one’s workplace is what English named at the beginning of this article – having a devotional time before work. It used to be that Regina Appiah Mends, a member of Manahawkin United Methodist Church and director of nursing at a rehabilitation center in Ocean County, New Jersey, seldom prayed for her patients or co-workers. “A year ago the Lord opened my eyes to the importance of committing all aspects of my life to him, including my job. This has helped me to treat my staff differently and also to pray for situations at work that previously made me angry.” “My morning devotion and prayer always ends with ‘God connect me with someone today whose life I can impact

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United Methodist Interpreter

in a positive way,’” said the Rev. Rodney Smothers, a member of the Baltimore-Washington Conference staff. “I go throughout my day intentionally smiling and inviting others to smile as an act of hospitality. Christian faith is not an external garment; it’s the overflow of a relationship that spills out of us because we know that God’s love for us is contagious, and we want others to know that love of God for themselves.” The Rev. Kathy Noble is editor of Interpreter and Interpreter OnLine.

PRACTICING DISCIPLESHIP ON THE JOB

This is how one Interpreter reader practices discipleship in the workplace. »» I do not respond to stressful situations with fear. I seek to remain calm and at peace and encourage the same in others. »» I work for the good of others and for my place of work in all things. »» I lovingly refuse to do anything I think might be unethical or immoral. (In my current place of employment, I have not had to do this.) »» I listen first and then respond. I listen a lot. »» I don’t try to “fix” others. I will offer suggestions, if they seem welcome, but only after doing a lot of listening. I have been able to walk alongside a co-worker who had an unusual situation that she had no experience with. »» I have offered to pray for people. When they’ve permitted, I have prayed for them on the spot. »» I do not take time away from work or disrupt work. »» I seek to be joyful in all circumstances — even challenging ones. »» I speak honestly. »» I speak without malice, but with love. »» I am honest about what I am able to do (and when) and what I am not able to do. »» I confess to error and seek forgiveness. »» I give forgiveness as needed. »» I do not keep secret that I am of Jesus Christ. I also do not make that truth a cudgel to bludgeon others. »» I listen without judgement. »» I practice discernment. »» I pray without ceasing. »» I remember the promises of God. »» When appropriate, I tell others of God and how much he loves them. »» I am a genuine friend, even with those who are not like me.

Name withheld on request, Mt. Tabor UMC, Crestwood, Kentucky


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culture of call

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BY ERIK ALSGAARD

HOW IS IT THAT SOME CHURCHES JUST SEEM TO HAVE A KNACK FOR CREATING PASTORS?

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Walk into some United Methodist churches today and you will see a gallery of portraits of people from that church who have been sent into ordained ministry. In some churches, there are dozens of photographs. In other churches, maybe one or two. And in other churches, none. Creating and nurturing new, younger clergy is among the goals of The United Methodist Church today. In the past 16 years, according to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary, there has been a modest increase in the number of ordained elders under the age of 35, from 5 percent of the total to 7 percent. However, the canary in the coal mine is that elders in the 55-72-year-old age group now account for 56 percent of the total. How do you create new young clergy? It all has to do with creating a culture of call, church leaders say, and the call doesn’t have to be to ordained ministry.

BEGIN WITH THE CHILDREN

To create that culture, you have to start early, said the Rev. Trip Lowery, director of Young Adult Ministry, Discernment and Enlistment for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Starting

early can mean with children as young as elementary school age. Lowery’s position enables him to work with people who work with young adults and youth to help them discern their call into ordained ministry. He said while creating a culture of call is important it’s also “really tough.” That’s because the personalities of local church leaders vary so much. “We have different kinds of people leading different kinds of churches with completely unique gifts,” he said. “It’s difficult to say, ‘Here’s the one answer that can fix your culture of call issues.’” However, that doesn’t mean a church can’t intentionally create a culture of call, tailored to its own personality, he said. The “culture of call,” Lowery said, “is a real fancy way of saying ‘helping the churches make call and vocation’ ingrained in everything the church does.” It’s sharing the idea that “you are created unique, created for a purpose and then that purpose should be lived into so that the body of Christ can live in its most healthy way.” Addressing the issue with a multitude of experiences and tools is key, Lowery said. The churches that engage with students from elementary school through

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United Methodist Interpreter

college in meaningful ways are the ones that tend to produce more clergy. “Honestly, it’s not magic,” Lowery said. “Churches who do this well are doing a few particular things really, really well and consistently.” What they’re finding, Lowery said, is that asking early and asking often is both critical and the source of many problems, all at the same time. “Churches are waiting for people to raise their hand and say, ‘I feel called to ordained ministry’ before they engage with them,” Lowery said. As a result, that church may only produce one ordained clergy person in a generation. “They’re waiting too long,” he said. “As a result, they’re missing out on people who are still trying to discern and don’t know what questions to ask. They don’t know what they don’t know.” On the other hand, the churches who seem to be good at creating a culture of call are the ones asking early. “This isn’t asking fouryear olds if they feel called to ordained leadership,” Lowery said, “but ingraining in them at a young age that they are created unique, that God has made them special and has a plan for them. We let them know we’re going to be with them as a congregation, like we profess in our baptismal vows. We’re going to be with them whether it’s ordained ministry or not.” UMNS/MIKE DUBOSE

Creating a

Watch as several United Methodists share “My Call Story.”

SUPPORT THE EXPLORERS

Creating a culture of call means that the behaviors, beliefs and attitudes of your congregation readily support the members


of the faith community as they identify and explore a call by God to serve as a lay, licensed or ordained person, said the Rev. Ashlee Alley, clergy recruitment and development coordinator for the Great Plains Conference. “Not everyone who feels a call will work ‘in ministry’ for a church,” she said. “But as everyone seeks to live out his or her faith more deeply, we pray that everyone will consider their work in the world, and even their interactions with other people will be an opportunity to live out God’s call.” In Great Plains, Alley and her team have put together numerous resources to help churches develop their culture of call. Is it working?

Pastor Laura Vincent leads the children’s time during worship at Shiloh United Methodist Church near Clinton, Kentucky. Helping children see that they are unique and created for a purpose is part of developing a culture of call in local churches.

It’s too soon to tell, she said. “Everyone is talking about young leadership and our sense of needing young clergy,” she said. “But cultivating a culture of call is a long-term commitment

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GENERAL BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND MINISTRY

The Rev. Trip Lowery

and process, and you can’t control the outcomes.” The Great Plains Conference introduced its culture of call efforts in 2015, Alley said, and it may take 10 or more years to effectively measure results. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort, she said. “If we keep doing the same thing, we’re going to keep getting the same results.” Alley, who spent 12 years in campus ministry and credits that with The Rev. Ashlee Alley influencing her current work, said there are questions that can be used to steer conversations toward identifying a call: »» “Who is God? How do you understand God?” What we believe about God has implications for what we think about ourselves and what we should do in the world, she said. »» “Who am I? What are the gifts that God has given me?” This helps to identify a person’s strengths and weaknesses, she said. »» “What is God calling me to do in the world?” Now that a person knows what he or she believes about God and what and who he or she is, what comes next? “I believe all Christians have a call,” Alley said. “It may or may not be to fulltime vocational ministry, but it absolutely is a call to being Jesus’ hands and feet in the world regardless of their careers.” For Alley, “call” is an aspect of “discipleship,” and if people could think of it in those terms, it may just become less scary to address, she said.

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SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

The most important thing churches can do, Alley said, to cultivate a culture of call: talk about it. “God does have a call for everyone,” she said. “No matter your age, no matter your station in life. Our first call is to follow Christ, and our second call is to something specific in the world.” The Rev. Erik Alsgaard is managing editor and social media editor for the communications ministry of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

‘CULTURE OF CALL’ RESOURCES

The Great Plains Conference website has a multitude of resources on creating a culture of call. Developed and curated by the Rev. Ashlee Alley, there are videos, podcasts, brochures, articles and a vacation Bible school program about calling. Go to www.greatplainsumc.org/exploringcall for more information. Read the “5 Cups of Coffee” brochure, www.greatplainsumc.org/files/ clergy_excel/call/5+cups+of+coffee.pdf, about one excellent way to start having conversations about “call.” “Called to Make a Difference” is the website for United Methodists exploring their calls to ordained ministry and other avenues of service. Find information from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry at www.explorecalling.org. Exploration 2017 is a biennial event for 18-26-year-olds discerning a call to ordained ministry as elders and deacons in The United Methodist Church. The next gathering will be Nov. 3-5 in Portland, Oregon. Learn more on p. 13 and at www.explorecalling.org.


P R AC T IC I N G FA I T H AT W O R K

BEN PAPA Making peace during divorce that need to be tended to,” Papa said, noting how his practice utilizes mental health coaches and financial professionals. “That’s a more satisfying, productive way to serve a family going through divorce.” Papa said he specializes in family law because it aligns with his passion for serving others. “I’m able to live out my values more effectively when I’m helping families through a crisis as opposed to coming in and making it worse,” he said. “I decided to dedicate my career to processes that are helping people in crisis.” As a leader for collaborative divorce in Tennessee, Papa is hoping to make a difference for more families. “I’m trying to change the conversation about divorce in Middle Tennessee,” he said, adding that he’s going against the “old school story” that treats divorce like a battle. Papa, who attends Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee, said he believes his master

of divinity degree from Vanderbilt University helps integrate his faith into his practice. “Some clients come to me because they know I have the master of divinity degree, or they know me from the church I’m in,” he said. “It’s a pastoral role in a certain sense.” In those situations, Papa has opportunities to speak about his faith in straightforward ways. He also incorporates his faith in more subtle forms while working. “Staying in my own skin, staying in my own values, personal integrity – that ends up modeling stability for people who are at risk of being

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reactive,” he said. “When I see somebody I know wants to be a person of integrity but they are spiraling, I will coach them.” Papa coaches clients from “a values perspective” and works to “keep them conscious of [those values] as they are making settlement decisions.” Viewing his work as ministry, Papa said he seeks to be a peacemaker. “I think as a Christian I am called to help people who are hurting, to help people that are in need move through whatever is going on for them,” he said. “People going through a divorce are struggling, and I think they need Christian love and support and guidance. I feel like I’m doing a better job of helping make peace in the world if I’m helping people move through the crisis of a divorce in a more peaceful way.” For Papa, the supportive foundation he finds in his church community enables him to be more effective in his role of peacemaking. “I have the best United Methodist Church in the conference,” he said. “It’s definitely ground zero for me around my spirituality. It’s where I reboot in community. It’s where I feel connected and valued, and I belong.” Emily Snell is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. She writes frequently for Interpreter and other publications.

GREGORY BYERLINE

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THOUGH IT MAY not always be evident, divorce is an opportunity for peacemaking. That’s how Ben Papa, a family law attorney and mediator in Brentwood, Tennessee, approaches his work with families. In his practice, Papa offers only what he considers “problem-solving approaches” – such as mediation, negotiated settlement or collaborative divorce. “Collaborative divorce says the best way to think about a divorce is as a crisis or problem that needs to be solved, rather than a competition,” Papa explained. The decision to divorce is complicated, he continued, and rather than using a process that will lead to more destruction, he emphasizes solutions that will help clients demonstrate a better version of themselves. According to the website for Papa’s firm, Papa & Roberts, LLC, he strives to “create an atmosphere where his clients can negotiate constructively despite their stress, become effective co-parents, and move through the divorce process with integrity.” Papa said he thinks it’s beneficial to approach divorce with the same supportive, helpful energy you would offer to someone who has experienced the death of a spouse. “Divorce by definition is a problem that has legal, emotional, financial elements

Ben Papa

United Methodist Interpreter


P R AC T IC I N G FA I T H AT W O R K

ALY KING Living Christ’s love

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FOR ALY KING, a Qualified Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities Professional (QIDDP) living in Salem, Virginia, following God’s call to serve others started when she was young. “I have always been called toward ministry, especially toward youth and marginalized people,” King said. “Mission trips, particularly Camp Hope in Frostburg, Maryland, were a source of energy for me.” Camp Hope, a missionbased camp, runs for four weeks each summer. Teams of youth, young adults and adults spend a week serving elderly and disabled people by making essential home repairs. King attended four summers as a youth and this past summer she took a youth group from her church. “Getting to know the homeowners we were working with was always a highlight,” King said. This summer King’s group built a set of stairs for a woman who is raising her great grandson. The homeowner — who has had three knee replacement surgeries — had been using unsteady cinder block steps to get on and off her deck. “She was in tears the night before the work started because she was so excited to have safe stairs. The best parts were that not only did we finish the work, but the woman’s great grandson gained playmates for the week!” In college, King found a professional calling to serve

Aly King

others as she was earning her bachelor’s degree in social work. “Through that experience,” King said, “I fell in love with a career that focuses on teaching others to fish.” After graduation, King worked for community-based programs helping adults with severe mental illnesses. Currently she is clinical supervisor for in-home services for a facility serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “My career path allows me to practice my faith every day. While I cannot talk directly with my clients about my faith or God’s love [due to safety restrictions], my day is filled with accepting people who

United Methodist Interpreter

are marginalized, outcast and institutionalized.” While her job has its share of paperwork and meetings, King knows her ultimate purpose there is to be accepting, supportive and nonjudgmental of those she serves. “I seek to show my clients through my actions that they are cared for and loved,” King said. “They may or may not connect that I am seeking to show them God’s love, but as long as they know they are loved and have a purpose, I have done my job.” Most days King feels God working through her in small moments and brief conversations. “Most of my clients are invisible — they stay at home or go between their home and

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day program — but they rarely go out in public. The conversations I have with clients remind them that there is someone who cares about them and is interested in their lives.” While King is currently seeking a church home near Roanoke, Virginia, she has actively served as a youth ministry leader — paid and volunteer — and on mission trips. “Serving people outside the church walls is always something I’m looking to do,” King said. “My life has been full of blessings. My desire to live out Christ’s love with all I meet — especially the marginalized and forgotten populations of our community — has led me to a place of choice. Because of my social work and ministry background, opportunities for jobs have been plentiful. I have wonderful coworkers, clients, and supervisors. I love them and they love me.” Knowing actions speak louder than words, King realizes that many people may be in workplaces where they are hesitant or unable to speak about their faith. “I can’t speak directly about my faith because it may pose risks to my clients — but that doesn’t mean I can’t share my faith. If we truly live out the love of Christ through our actions, even in the workplace, then we don’t need to speak.” Cindy Solomon is a marketing consultant and freelance writer living in Franklin, Tennessee.

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“1908 Social Creed for Workers” is a new production from United Methodist Videos.

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Va l u i n g w o r k a n d w o r k e r s part of UM

social witness BY EMILY SNELL

FOR OVER A CENTURY, United

COURTESY PNOTO

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Methodists and their predecessors have been advocating for fair labor practices. And while today’s society looks much different than that of 18th-century England where John Wesley and the early Methodists ministered to coal miners and other marginalized workers and their The Rev. Mark Galang (second from right) joins a families, many current advocates say demonstration advocating a living wage for workers at the the same principles apply more than Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 200 years later. “The 1908 Social Creed really spoke to As outlined in the 1908 Social Creed the moment of realizing the impact of the and still present in the denomination’s industrial revolution on society – the ways Social Principles today, a belief in Godin which people’s lives and communities given human dignity undergirds United were impacted by the economy that was Methodists’ historic emphasis on worker changing around them,” said John S. Hill, justice. director of environmental and economic “We are created as partners with God justice at the General Board of Church in taking care of the earth,” said the Rev. and Society. “And I think similarly our Mark Galang, pastor at Beacon United current Social Creed is a reflection of how Methodist Church in Seattle. “Being partthese systems are impacting us and how ners with God in caring for the world gives we need to engage not just from a personal dignity to the work that we do, and the individual level, but through challenging work we do then becomes an expression those systems.” of our faithfulness to the call of God to be The Rev. Darren Cushman Wood, author stewards of the world. Thus, because we are partners with God in our work, every of Blue Collar Jesus and pastor at North working person must be treated with due United Methodist Church in Indianaporespect and dignity.” lis, said promoting economic justice has The Rev. C.J. Hawking, executive “always been a stream of our social witness. director of Arise Chicago and pastor of “It comes out of our notion of holiness. social justice at Euclid Avenue United Holiness has to be a transformation of the Methodist Church, said her work with othwhole person – body and mind, our social ers has proven that, regardless of career and economic relations as well.”

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United Methodist Interpreter

path, dignity abides within the worker. Arise Chicago is credited with securing passage of anti-wage theft ordinances in Chicago and Cook County “I believe we were all designed to work, to contribute to the common good,” she said. “We each have creativity and drive within us that wants to make the world a better place. Whether you’re a janitor keeping a workplace healthy and clean or you’re the accountant making sure the books are balanced or you’re a flight attendant – every single job has dignity. Virtually everyone I have met takes pride in their work and sees it as contributing to the common good.” For many United Methodists, the fight for workplace justice involves fair wages, earned sick time, paid maternity leave and safe conditions. “We have been calling for a living wage in every industry since 1908,” Hill said. “I reflect on both how inspiring that is and how frustrating that is, that we are still so far away from realizing that in our society. But it’s really sort of a testament to me of what has come before, the work that we’re building on and then the work that’s yet to be done.” Hawking sees progress but also a need for more transformation. “This is an exciting time to engage in workers’ rights,” she said and added, “We need to develop workplaces that reflect our values.” “We all say that we support family, but we need wages to follow that,” she said.


GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY

EY N JO U R N A M IS S IO

SION A MIS

JOURNEY A

BO A HAND VO L U N T OK FOR EERS

y/Missions

B O O K H A N D

VOLUNTEERS

COURTESY PHOTO

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Cushman Wood also emphasized the value of healthy work relationships. “Being supportive of your coworkers is a profound witness for the gospel,” he said. “Especially if there are John S. Hill The Rev. Darren The Rev. C.J. Hawking coworkers struggling at work, Cushman Wood for you to be collaborative instead of competitive, that makes all the “If someone is paid minimum wage, they difference in the world.” often have to take a second job to make According to Galang, who works with a ends meet. That takes a person away from group called Interfaith Economic Justice their family and their community because Coalition, dignity in the workplace has they’re working all the time. Fair wages to come from both the employer and the really impact our communities in so many employee. ways.” “The work that we do and how we do Galang thinks it’s important to inteit is an expression of our faithfulness to grate faith and work by seeing good in God’s call to us,” he said. “Finding worth others and seeking their good, including in the work we do builds confidence and advocating for their rights. self-esteem that leads to worker dignity. I “As people of faith we believe in justice believe before we expect others to treat us and fairness,” he said. “We have to be with dignity in our work, we first have to concerned not just about ourselves but for the good of all. Thus, we speak up and fight find joy and worth in our own work. I think this is the employee’s foremost responuntil everyone has enough because, until sibility to their employer – to promise to then, no one is really free.”

find dignity in their work and do the best they can in performing it.” Hill said everyone could strive for a more dignified global system of work by being more aware and intentional in their purchases. “Understanding all the hands that toil and the workers that labor to support our daily lives is a good start,” he said. “From the farm workers who harvest our fruit and vegetables, to the garment workers who sew our clothes and the miners who risk their health and lives so that we might have energy and minerals to power our modern economy – our daily lives are linked to the work of others. As we trace those connections, we must start asking how often we are valuing convenience and price over faithfulness and right relationships with others.” Emily Snell is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, who writes frequently for Interpreter and other publications. She recently joined the staff of The Upper Room at Discipleship Ministries.

A MISSION JOURNEY The official guide for YOUR mission journey

F O R

This UMVIM handbook is for team leaders, team members, and others who will get involved in short-term mission volunteer journeys. It encourages short-term mission volunteers to reflect on the reasons why they engage in mission and how they prepare to be more intentional about relationships with those they encounter on their journeys.

A Mission Journey is available from the Upper Room Bookstore in paperback for $17 or in e-book format for $9.99. http://bookstore.upperroom.org • 800-972-0433 Upper Room provides discounts for bulk orders. Call for more details.

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Teachers schools have a calling to their

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THERE IS A RUNNING JOKE THAT ALLOWED OR NOT, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PRAYER IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AS LONG AS TEACHERS HAVE STUDENTS AND STUDENTS HAVE TESTS, THERE WILL BE PRAYER! For many teachers, though, prayer and faith play a major role in their work every day. For these three, faith is one thing that took them into the classroom in the first place.

THE CALL IS A JOURNEY

Bobbie Hill, a member of Memorial United Methodist Church from Bastrop, Louisiana, earned her teaching certification at age 50. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in psychology, earned a master’s in reading, graduated from Iliff School of Theology with a master’s of divinity, earned a third master’s in education and is now working on certification in special education. The woman loves learning and gives God all the credit for making it happen. While raising two children and volunteering in their schools, Hill discovered a love for tutoring. She earned a master’s in reading and taught for two years. Then, one Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, she saw a notice about Iliff School of Theology.

“I thought that sounded so interesting,” she said, “and just thought, why not apply?” She was accepted, received a scholarship and in 1990 moved from Louisiana to Colorado to attend Iliff, focusing on peace with justice. She graduated in 1995. While at Iliff, Hill worked as a Christian education intern in rural western Kansas. The jobs in Christian education and youth ministry did not offer much in the way of salary and benefits, she said, but “I thoroughly enjoyed dealing with children.” Deciding to become a certified teacher, Hill earned another master’s in education that “required me to do practice teaching,” she explained. “I did it in a large public school in Denver across the street from a public housing complex. My first classroom experience was with inner city, poor kids, largely Hispanic whose first language was Spanish.” And she loved it! Hill taught in the Denver area until 2012. An economic downturn caused elimination of her job. She saw it as a Godgiven opportunity to do something new.

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BY POLLY HOUSE

She attended an education job fair and found herself at an international teaching table. “I just thought, ‘Well, why not?’” she said. Almost immediately Hill was offered a two-year contract to teach English and reading in Kuwait. When that job ended, Hill returned to the States and taught for two years. But her wandering spirit took hold again. During an Internet search, she said, “A link took me to a teaching job on the Ringling Brothers circus train. Again, I thought, well, why not?” She called that job “life changing.” For a year, home was a 9- by 6-foot room on the mile-long circus train. “I taught out of a 5-by-5 wooden box with one computer, one scanner, the kids’ books, a hands-on science curriculum and a small library,” she said. “We did field trips when we could. It was an amazing experience.”

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

United Methodist Interpreter

Bobbie Hill

Hill now teaches middle school special education in Louisiana while pursuing a teaching certification in that field. “I think as a Christian I feel more supported than the average teacher,” she said. “My prayer life helps me avoid burnout. My Christian support network from


LOTS OF PRAYING GOING ON

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Michael Rashon Adkins laughs when he says his principal calls their school the Missionary Baptist United Methodist Elementary School.

Michael Rashon Adkins with two former students.

“We have so many Christians teaching here,” he said. “There is lots of praying going on for Napier Elementary.” Napier is an inner-city elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Many of the children struggle with poverty-related issues. A member of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Nashville, Adkins is in his ninth year as a teacher and now the lead teacher for second grade at Napier. He said he is blessed to teach in a school where many fellow teachers and administrators are also Christians. “We pray for each other and for our students,” Adkins said. “I have a lot of prayer support from my church, too. My church members are some of our school’s best volunteers. My first lady (pastor’s spouse) comes and reads to the children.

She even dresses up in costume! It’s fabulous. The children love it. “My grandmother comes and prays over my room. Other members come and help me set up my room at the beginning of the year. They pray for me, for the children and for the school.” Some have sponsored events for Napier. Incorporating his faith into his teaching by his daily walk and talk is natural for Adkins. He believes the children see it. “They know I go to church and am a Christian,” he said. “Many of them go to church, and they like that I do, too. By law I can’t bring up matters of faith, but the children can. When they do, I can certainly answer them truthfully. As long as the kids initiate it, we can pray.” One day a child came up to Adkins and told him that he didn’t know how to pray. “He brought it up,” Adkins said. “I told him praying is easy; all he needs to do is close his eyes and just say what is on his heart. I told him he can just talk about any concerns and God would hear him.”

CALLED AWAY FROM THE CHURCH

As an elementary school counselor, the Rev. Dayna Hauschild often walks the halls of Linwood Elementary in Wichita, Kansas. That’s where she sees the children most. “The majority of our kids have been through some kind of traumatizing event,” she said. “Many live with domestic violence and drug violence. Because of trauma, they often have trouble staying on task and focusing on their work.” A deacon who attends East Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita, Hauschild was appointed to Linwood in 2014 after she earned her counseling degree. (Deacons find their own employment and then request appointment by the bishop.) Before that, while serving as a Christian educator, she had parents “asking questions about how to help their kids. They had some specific challenges. As a result, I was doing lots of research on how to help these kids.”

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SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

As a counselor, Hauschild is in a unique position to relate to the entire child’s needs. “In our school the counThe Rev. Dayna Hauschild selor serves on a child study team, comprised of administration, teachers and social workers. We brainstorm on the kids’ needs: academic, social and emotional.” She also provides support in the classrooms. “On request (from the teacher), I will go help a student who is struggling so the teacher can go ahead and teach,” she said. “I can support educationally and emotionally. Sometimes the child needs that one-on-one situation.” East Heights members support her with prayer and offer assistance when needed. The church is in a partnership with another local school and many members volunteer to support the staff and the children. Hauschild said she hasn’t started anything faith-based at Linwood, mainly because of the diversity at the school. About half of the students are Hispanic and most are low income. Even so, she does incorporate God into her work. “This may sound odd,” she said, “but I believe God has a sense of humor, and I use that a lot with the kids. Laughter relaxes people. Maybe we will sit and color. We may talk. We may not. They may not have the vocabulary to tell me what they are feeling. We play games and use lots of relationship-building activities. I want the kids to feel safe.” Hauschild said that daily prayer on her own is crucial. “I have to be a person of prayer for these kids.”

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my church helps me make it through the long days of hard work. You can’t always identify something as being the Lord’s work except in hindsight. My teaching career and my life are a beautiful tapestry, threads woven from all these opportunities. My call has always been a journey. I believe if you love the work, it’s got to be your calling. “

Polly House is a freelance writer and editor in Nashville, Tennessee, and editorial assistant for Interpreter and Interpreter OnLine.

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P R AC T IC I N G FA I T H AT W O R K

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FOR OAK LAWN United Methodist Church (Dallas) member Gary Walden, there are blessings in beauty. Now in his 28th year as a hairstylist, Walden’s faith experience is rooted (no pun intended!) in service. While many people can pinpoint a specific time or experience when they felt or heard God’s calling, Walden found his in the midst of struggling with his career. “I was struggling because even though I loved being a hairstylist and working in the industry, I felt at odds with the vanity of it all,” Walden said. “Then I had some experiences with clients who showed me how what I did was helping them feel confident and excited about their lives. I finally understood that was the calling.” Walden lives out his faith by showing compassion through listening and providing support for his clients. Sometimes, he’ll pray with clients when they open that door. “As a gay man, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss my faith journey with many clients,” he said. “People come to me in a trusting space to ask questions to help them reconcile their feelings on this often-controversial topic.” The ways Walden shares his faith with clients vary. One client was going through a painful divorce. “It was made even more difficult for her because she did not

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GARY WALDEN Called to serve

Gary Walden

believe divorce was an option; rather it was a shameful act,” he said. Because Walden was open at work about his faith, he introduced the woman to another client. “This client invited the woman to attend Sunday school and church. The woman accepted, later met someone at that church, and ultimately remarried. It was a wonderful gift.” Another time Walden had a new client who was struggling with weight and self-esteem issues. “She had very nice hair but it looked too practical for her,” he explained. “She had flair and her hair wasn’t reflective of that.” After a few appointments, Walden created

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

a new look for the woman, which was a catalyst for an entire personal transformation. “My belief in and encouragement led this woman to start exercising, grow her business and further develop personally,” he said. “I often say my faith story is the result of serving people through my work and being open about my identity. This faith has created a beneficial exchange between my clients and me. They have shown me that my honesty is appreciated and our rapport is created through love.” Walden also touches lives through various community organizations. “I’ve always

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been a volunteer,” Walden says. “When I was a kid, my parents encouraged my siblings and me to serve. It was just understood that volunteering was a part of our lives; we were children of God and that was our responsibility.” Walden models for fashion event fundraisers for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS and Legal Hospice of Texas (both in Dallas). After his first year of modeling for Legal Hospice, Walden became the creative director and helps plan and produce the event. He also models and is the lead hairstylist for Esteem, a fashion show raising money for the Elisa project — a Dallas-based organization serving people of all ages living with symptoms of unhealthy relationships with food including obesity and eating disorders. As co-captain of Catwalk for Water — a fundraiser supporting the Gulf Restoration Project — Walden solicits sponsors, scouts event locations, recruits volunteers and models, and works on choreography and show design. While Walden sometimes shares his faith with other volunteers, his original calling — service — often comes into play more subtly. “I’m focused on serving others as I work alongside people of various faiths. In our service, we are all moving toward a common goal of providing assistance to those in need.” Cindy Solomon


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College, University AND Seminary Showcase

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

CENTENARY COLLEGE OF LOUISIANA

DUKE DIVINITY SCHOOL

As the founding school of Boston University and the oldest United Methodist seminary in North America, we are a professional school within a cosmopolitan research university that is itself committed to “learning, virtue, and piety.” Rooted in the Wesleyan tradition and drawing from the wider Christian and religious traditions of the world, we strive to equip people for ministries and vocations that foster personal and social transformation, that are oriented to the world’s diversities, and that expand the prophetic legacy of this historic School of Theology.

Founded in 1825, Centenary is a selective, residential, national liberal arts college proudly affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Our students recognize the world as rapidly changing and wholeheartedly embrace its interconnected cultures, beginning with the Centenary in Paris experience that sends all first year students to France to kick off their college careers. Our graduates go on to study medicine (we have a 90 percent medical school acceptance rate over the past 5 years), law, business, and the arts and sciences, entering the workforce as culturally competent and creative thinkers.

Theological education at Duke Divinity School creates space for you to engage your calling, prepares you to renew the church, and equips you to be involved in God’s transformative work in the world. Through one of our four masters, two doctoral, and three dual degree programs, Duke Divinity School distinctively combines academically rigorous and spiritually disciplined education. We invite you to learn more about our vibrant community!

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

CENTENARY COLLEGE OF LOUISIANA

DUKE DIVINITY SCHOOL

sthadmis@bu.edu

admission@centenary.edu

admissions@div.duke.edu | 919-660-3436

745 COMMONWEALTH AVENUE, BOSTON, MA. 02215 617-353-3036

www.bu.edu/sth

ILIFF SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

2911 Centenary Boulevard SHREVEPORT, LA 71104

www.centenary.edu

OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY

BOX 90965 DURHAM, NC 27708-0965

divinity.duke.edu/admissions

UNION COLLEGE

The Iliff School of Theology is an independent graduate school related to the United Methodist Church that educates and develops leaders with courageous theological imaginations. Located in Denver, Colorado, it serves many faith traditions and is committed to social justice and inclusiveness. Courses are offered on campus, online, or in innovative hybrid formats. Iliff has been named one of the Seminaries that Change the World for two years running. The school is an important place for dialogue about many of the most important issues that face the world today.

Ohio Northern University (ONU) has a 94 percent job and graduate school placement rate. Its long-standing success is partly because of excellent professors, partly because of ambitious students, and partly because the University always been rooted in the future. At ONU, students move toward a career long before they graduate – and ONU’s alumni successes prove it. With top-ranked programs and opportunities outside the classroom, any path a student chooses at ONU will be grounded in concrete applications for the future. Established in 1871 and comprised of five colleges (Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy, and Law), ONU’s beautiful residential campus is made up of more than 60 modern residences and academic buildings and provides a vibrant campus experience.

ILIFF SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY 525 S. MAIN STREET ADA, OHIO 45810

310 COLLEGE STREET BARBOURVILLE, KY 40906

800-678-3360 ext. 117

admissions-ug@onu.edu

enrollme@unionky.edu

2323 E. ILIFF AVE. DENVER, CO 80210

www.iliff.edu

onu.edu

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JULY • AUGUST 2017

Located in Barbourville, Kentucky and founded in 1879, Union College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Home of the Bulldogs, Union is a private, liberal arts-based institution comprised of undergraduate and graduate programs, supporting a diverse academic environment for nearly 1200 students. Union is grounded by four pillars that define our academic focus: service to each other and our communities; our Appalachian culture and heritage; our core affiliation with Methodism and the liberal arts academic experience. These principles promote the intellectual, spiritual and physical enrichment of our campus as well as the economic growth of our Appalachian community.

UNION COLLEGE

unionky.edu


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College, University AND Seminary Showcase

MCMURRY UNIVERSITY

Vanderbilt provides the best of two worlds: a large, vibrant Methodist population and an interdenominational, diverse theological community. Students in the M.Div. and M.T.S. programs take courses anywhere in the university’s 10 schools through highly-tailored degree programs that help them prepare for leadership in churches, educational contexts, chaplaincy, non-profit and other professional settings. More than 95% of students receive significant scholarship support. Come see why Vanderbilt Divinity, ‘The School of the Prophets,’ is at the heart of this world-class university.

Founded in 1923 as a United Methodist institution, McMurry University is a vibrant and comprehensive center of undergraduate education with a national reputation for excellence and value through the achievements of its faculty, students and graduates. We offer students a diverse academic curriculum with majors in the arts, business, education and the sciences. McMurry is guided by our core values: Christian Faith as the foundation of life, Personal Relationships as the catalyst for life, Learning as the journey of life, Excellence as the goal of life, and Service as the measure of life.

Founded in 1853, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary serves the church and the world by preparing public theologians and scholars. We equip our students to proclaim the good news of the gospel, to foster deep spirituality in the lives of others, to serve with cultural competence and commitment to racial equity, and to lead transformative change for the wellbeing of all persons and creation. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, Garrett-Evangelical offers rigorous, intellectually challenging academics paired with a commitment to intentional spiritual formation that trains the mind, body, and spirit. Through a diverse curriculum you will be stretched theologically and exposed to new models of ministry.

VANDERBILT DIVINITY SCHOOL

McMURRY UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF ADMISSION

GARRETT–EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

admissions@mcm.edu

847-866-3900

411 21ST AVENUE SOUTH NASHVILLE, TN 37240

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GARRETTEVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

VANDERBILT DIVINITY SCHOOL

615-343-3963

http://divinity.vanderbilt.edu

1 MCMURRY UNIVERSITY #278, ABILENE, TX 79697 800-460-2392

McM.edu

2121 SHERIDAN RD. EVANSTON, IL 60201

www.garrett.edu

CENTRAL METHODIST UNIVERSITY

PITTSBURGH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

UNIVERSITY OF EVANSVILLE

Missouri’s only Methodist-affiliated university has been doing more for students since 1854. Nestled in the historic mid-Missouri community of Fayette, CMU enrolls about 1,100 on its beautiful main campus and another 4,000+ in its online and off-campus programs. An exciting new Music Ministry major complements strong programs in health professions, the sciences, teacher education and much more. CMU’s new Center for Faith and Service is a hub of activity for students of all denominations.

Founded in 1794, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has a rich history of preparing United Methodists for ministry. Rooted in the Reformed tradition and in relationship with Christ-followers from other traditions, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary forms and equips people for ministries familiar and yet to unfold, communities present and yet to be gathered. The Seminary offers M.Div. (with joint degrees in social work, law, and public policy), and D.Min. degrees, as well as graduate certificates in church planting and revitalization, and urban ministry.

Founded in 1854, the University of Evansville is a fully accredited, private, liberal arts-based, United Methodist-affiliated institution that offers more than 80 majors and 100 areas of study. Its diverse student body represents 46 states and 56 countries, and study abroad options include the school’s 100-room Victorian manor house in England. Here at UE, it’s not a regimented program of faith development but rather faith by experience. An emphasis on global education and civic engagement challenges students to reflect on their responsibilities for the common good.

CENTRAL METHODIST UNIVERSITY

PITTSBURGH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

UNIVERSITY OF EVANSVILLE

admissions@centralmethodist.edu

admissions@pts.edu

812-488-2468

411 CENTRAL METHODIST SQUARE FAYETTE, MISSOURI 65248

www.centralmethodist.edu

616 N. HIGHLAND AVE., PITTSBURGH, PA 15206 800-451-4194

www.pts.edu

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

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1800 LINCOLN AVENUE EVANSVILLE, IN 47722

www.evansville.edu


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CANDLER SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION

Candler School of Theology is grounded in the Christian faith and shaped by the Wesleyan tradition of evangelical piety, ecumenical openness, and social concern. For more than a century, we have educated faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries throughout the world. Part of top-ranked Emory University, Candler has a faculty of esteemed scholar-teachers and the lowest student/faculty ratio among our peer schools. Explore our 16 degrees, including a new online Doctor of Ministry and a two-year Master of Religious Leadership.

The University of Mount Union, founded in 1846, is a four-year, private institution grounded in the liberal arts tradition and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. A Midwestern university, Mount Union is located in Alliance, Ohio, 80 miles from both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Mount Union offers an array of broad-based and career-specific undergraduate and graduate programs to its 2,100 students. Mount Union faculty and staff are committed to providing a student-centered approach to education. Combining foundational classroom knowledge with practical hands-on experience, Mount Union students are prepared for success after graduation. For more information, visit mountunion.edu.

Take the lead and make a difference with a valuesbased education from the only United Methodist institution in Minnesota—Hamline University. As Minnesota’s first university, we set the standard for excellence with a liberal arts education rooted in justice and civic responsibility. With more than 50 areas of study and opportunities to contribute through collaborative research and community-based service projects, you can pursue your passion for lifelong learning and champion positive change. Discover how Hamline can help you forge your path with passion and purpose.

CANDLER SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION

HAMLINE UNIVERSITY

800-334-6682

800-753-9753

RITA ANNE ROLLINS BUILDING, 1531 DICKEY DRIVE ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30322

candleradmissions@emory.edu apply.candler.emory.edu

1972 CLARK AVE. ALLIANCE, OH 44601

www.mountunion.edu

HAMLINE UNIVERSITY

1536 HEWITT AVE ST PAUL, MN 55104

www.hamline.edu

WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

Part of one of the world’s great universities, Yale Divinity School prepares scholars, ministers, and leaders for a time of dramatic change in the global theological landscape. Students from a full spectrum of Christian denominations and faiths, and from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, gather at YDS to begin a lifetime of transformative service to church and world. The world-class faculty pursue their teaching and scholarship at the highest levels, eager to accept the educational challenges of the new global century.

“Traditions need to be transformed each generation. Theology must be reckoned with, wrestled with, tested and reflected upon in light of our experiences and contexts. It is dead theology if it’s not wrestled with anew.”

Discover the Power of AND at Kansas Wesleyan University, where you can grow spiritually and intellectually. Explore innovative majors such as Art Therapy, Biomedical Chemistry, Emergency Management, Forensic Computing and Christian Ministry. With our new Liberal Arts curriculum, you’ll become a strong communicator, a critical thinker, a global citizen and an ethical professional. Campus Ministries at KWU is committed to awakening and equipping Christ-centered students. Students enjoy weekly Monday Night Alive, small groups, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, service experiences, prayer support and many other opportunities for spiritual growth.

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

202-885-8659

www.kwu.edu/admissions

YALE DIVINITY

409 PROSPECT STREET, NEW HAVEN CT, 06511 203-432-5360

herron.gaston@yale.edu divinity.yale.edu

– Dr. Beverly Mitchell on John Wesley’s Quadrilateral Seated in the nation’s capital and centered in Christian faith, Wesley Theological Seminary will equip you for leadership in the church and the world. Apply by February 1 for merit-based financial aid.

4500 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON, DC 20016

www.wesleyseminary.edu United Methodist Interpreter

JULY • AUGUST 2017

100 E. CLAFLIN AVE. SALINA, KS 67401-6196

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College, University AND Seminary Showcase

SPARTANBURG METHODIST COLLEGE

DREW THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL

COLGATE ROCHESTER CROZER DIVINITY SCHOOL

Located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, SMC is a private liberal arts college open to students of all religious and non-religious backgrounds. The college serves an approximately 800 student body and offers six associate degrees as well as paths to bachelor’s degrees. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church and established in 1911, students experience the transformative powers of academic excellence, intellectual exploration, social awareness and character development. SMC is the college of choice for local, regional, national and international students who desire the advantages of a church-related education in a supportive community where they can thrive.

Rooted. Innovative. Courageous. A community of scholars, ministers, and activists gathered on a beautiful, wooded campus. Drew Theological School has trained rooted, innovative, and courageous leaders for 150 years for service to the Church, the academy, and society. We are a diverse and open community that dares to pursue the love, wisdom, and justice at the heart of the transformative gospel of Jesus Christ. We are proudly grounded in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition of bold ideas that impact people’s lives for the good. We believe that when ancient wisdom is in lively engagement with contemporary challenges, great things are possible.

For almost 200 years, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School has served as one of the world’s leading progressive theological schools, preparing socially conscious, socially active leaders who impact the world through Christ-centered leadership and service. Located in Rochester, NY, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School offers M.Div., M.A., and D.Min. degree programs. Our limited residency Doctor of Ministry program affords students from all over the country the opportunity to remain in their ministry contexts while completing courses in oneweek intensives. We invite you to join us and become a part of our 200-year legacy.

SPARTANBURG METHODIST COLLEGE

DREW THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL

COLGATE ROCHESTER CROZER DIVINITY SCHOOL

admiss@smcsc.edu

gradm@drew.edu | 973-408-3111

admissions@crcds.edu | 888-937-3732

1000 POWELL MILL ROAD SPARTANBURG, SC 29301

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www.smcsc.edu

ANABAPTIST MENNONITE BIBLICAL SEMINARY

36 MADISON AVENUE MADISON, NJ 07940

drew.edu/theo

1100 SOUTH GOODMAN STREET ROCHESTER, NY 14620

www.crcds.edu

McKENDREE UNIVERSITY

RANDOLPH-MACON ACADEMY

AMBS offers excellent academic programs with deep spiritual formation with a strong emphasis on peacemaking, creation care and social justice. We offer special UMC scholarships and our partnership with Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary allows you to complete an approved United Methodist Master of Divinity degree in a diverse, globally-connected community setting. Please schedule a personal visit to see first-hand how our small class sizes provide opportunities to grow in biblical understanding, theological fluency, cultural discernment and spiritual maturity.

Established in 1828, McKendree is the oldest institution in the nation with continuous ties to the United Methodist Church. Committed to providing students with a high quality, affordable education, our rigorous academic programs coupled with our strong intellectual and spiritual climate sets us apart. • Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top tier Midwest Regional University, in the top 35 for Best Value and top 100 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs • Offers 50 undergraduate majors, five graduate degrees, and two doctoral programs • Over 70 student organizations are available, including campus ministry and a Center for Community Service

Students in grades 6-12 soar at Randolph-Macon Academy. R-MA provides a solid foundation rooted in college-preparatory academics, leadership training through Air Force JROTC, and character development based in the values of the United Methodist Church and the Air Force core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. The Academy is a top-rated co-ed boarding and day school, with 100% of graduates earning acceptance to colleges and universities across the U.S. and internationally. The graduating classes also average over $6 million in college scholarships each year!

ANABAPTIST MENNONITE BIBLICAL SEMINARY

McKENDREE UNIVERSITY

RANDOLPH-MACON ACADEMY

3003 BENHAM AVE. ELKHART, IN 46517

umcadmissions@ambs.edu | 800-964-2627

www.ambs.edu/umc

701 COLLEGE ROAD LEBANON, IL 66254

McKendree.edu JULY • AUGUST 2017

United Methodist Interpreter

200 ACADEMY DRIVE FRONT ROYAL, VA 22630

540-636-5484 www.rma.edu


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DILLARD UNIVERSITY Founded in 1869, Dillard University offers a liberal arts education in a setting where each student receives the personal attention needed to promote their growth academically and as global citizens. Located in one of America’s most vibrant cities, New Orleans, La., Dillard has consistently been ranked among the very best Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country. With 147 years of academic excellence to its name, Dillard continues its historical commitment to excellence in education and strives to position itself as one of the nation’s premier centers for undergraduate research.

DILLARD UNIVERSITY

TENNESSEE WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

METHODIST THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL IN OHIO

With three religion majors available, TWU allows students to explore a foundation in the liberal arts with an emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. Available majors include church vocations, religion and philosophy, and pre-seminary. All three provide a foundation in religion and philosophy and prepare students for careers and graduate study. “Because of what I experienced and got to be part of through Wesleyan is how I got my first job in a church. Because of Wesleyan, the whole vocational path was made. I truly believe I would not be at 1st Maryville if I had not gone to Tennessee Wesleyan.” Chris Lee ‘05

MTSO offers opportunities and resources unique in graduate theological education.

TENNESSEE WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

It fits your life: The Connections M.Div. offers a meaningful degree requiring one full day a week on campus, augmented by hybrid online learning. It fits your finances: The average MTSO master’s student receives $9,900 in non-loan aid per year. It fits your commitment to sustainability: Our 80-acre greater Columbus campus is home to Seminary Hill Farm, where we grow much of the food served in our dining hall. We encourage you to come and visit.

METHODIST THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL IN OHIO

2601 GENTILLY BOULEVARD NEW ORLEANS, LA 70112

204 EAST COLLEGE STREET, ATHENS, TN 37303

3081 COLUMBUS PIKE, DELAWARE, OH 43105 800-333-6876, 740-363-1146

504-283-8822

423-746-5286

admissions@mtso.edu

www.dillard.edu

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY The best way to learn about Princeton Theological Seminary is to visit our campus. October 15–17, 2017 November 5–8, 2017 February 4–6, 2018 February 25–27, 2018 March 18–21, 2018

tnwesleyan.edu

COLUMBIA COLLEGE Ranked among the best institutions in the South, Columbia College is a dynamic learning community known for its emphasis on leadership development, service and social justice. Founded in 1854 by the United Methodist Church as a women’s college, the College offers online, graduate and evening programs for men and women.  An array of activities, including ten varsity athletic teams, a vibrant cultural/arts/entertainment scene just steps from campus in the capital city of Columbia, provide students with internships and opportunity. 

www.mtso.edu

ASBURY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Asbury Seminary is a community called. We are an evangelical, multi-denominational graduate school, steeped in the Wesleyan tradition. With over 1600 students and more than 200 faculty, your experience is grounded in the Word of God, honed with immense spiritual growth and sharpened by global engagement. We offer a variety of academic and professional degrees through our Kentucky and Florida Dunnam campuses, online, and our Memphis Tennessee cohort.

ASBURY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY KENTUCKY CAMPUS

204 N. LEXINGTON AVENUE, WILMORE, KY 40390

COLUMBIA COLLEGE

SCHEDULE A VISIT

1301 COLUMBIA COLLEGE DR. COLUMBIA, SC 29203

ptsem.edu/visit

800-277-1301 columbiasc.edu

United Methodist Interpreter

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

FLORIDA DUNNAM CAMPUS

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CLAREMONT SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

HOOD THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

At Claremont School of Theology, we value our Christian/Methodist roots while learning alongside our neighbors of all faiths and traditions, celebrating our commonalities and respecting our differences. In a world divided by opposing views on religion, race, sexuality and gender, climate change, poverty and privilege, CST produces something our world needs: compassionate, well-prepared, thoughtful religious and civic leaders who are agents of transformation and healing, locally and globally. Our graduates lead with their minds and their hearts to create a difference for the world we live in.

Hood Theological Seminary (HTS) prepares women and men for bold and creative leadership for the Christian church in a diverse world. We welcome all who desire to reflect the Kingdom of God in the cutting-edge study of scripture and theology, in relationships of equality and diversity, and in actions which embrace racial reconciliation and economic justice. HTS embodies values that define us as a community of welcome, worship, teaching and learning excellence, and discernment and practical wisdom. Hood Seminary features gifted faculty, flexible schedules, and a diverse, spirit-filled community. Join the journey at Hood!

As an Emory & Henry student, you’ll be empowered to actually apply your outstanding liberal arts education in impactful ways toward solving real world problems, now! It’s no wonder that the prestigious guide, 40 Colleges that Change Lives, states “Emory & Henry does the finest job of them all in producing contributors to society.” Small class size, nationallyrecognized faculty, experiential learning opportunities, and abounding options for co-curricular activities add up to a transformative and winning experience that provides our students with a real edge in entering the career marketplace or grad school.

CLAREMONT SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO DIVINITY SCHOOL

OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY

BIRMINGHAMSOUTHERN COLLEGE

The Divinity School is the graduate professional school for the academic study of religion at the University of Chicago. Academic life at the Divinity School is rigorous, engaged, interdisciplinary, and dynamic; we offer over 100 courses every year as well as a variety of workshops, clubs, and other venues for learning. The dominant ethos of the school – toward the cultivation of new knowledge through research – imbues both the PhD and masters programs (MA, MDiv, AMRS), which are taught by the same faculty. The Divinity School and University represent an unparalleled depth of expertise in all five major world religions (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism), throughout their historical periods, and other religious movements, past and present. Learn more at divinity.uchicago.edu.

Oklahoma City University’s Wimberly School of Religion educates students in the United Methodist tradition of scripture, reason, tradition and experience. We prepare students for a variety of careers in the church and community or to embark upon further theological study. We offer a Bachelor of Arts in four areas of study: Youth Ministry, Religious Education, Religious Studies, and Religion & Philosophy. Students from across the university may also minor in Interfaith Studies. Certification in Youth Ministry and Religious Education through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is available for undergraduate students. The School of Religion has generous scholarships available for undergraduates studying religion. 

At Birmingham-Southern College, the focus is on your future. When you leave our campus, you’ll be ready to pursue your passion, fulfill your purpose, and reach your full potential. At BSC, the possibilities are limitless. How do we do it?  • Innovative academics with teaching faculty in small classrooms; • Hands-on learning through internships, research, service-learning, and travel; • A supportive campus with leadership opportunities and lifetime friendships; and • Connections in the city that give students experiences for life post-college.

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BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN COLLEGE

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P R AC T IC I N G FA I T H AT W O R K

JAIME GALLAGA Fa i t h l e a d s t o s e r v i c e Called to Serve … Prepared to Lead One of five university-related theological schools of the UMC, Perkins School of Theology – a graduate school of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas – prepares women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. Degrees include: M.Div., M.T.S., M.A.M., M.S.M, M.Th. (English and Spanish), Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Pastoral Music, M.A. and Ph.D. in religious studies. Certificates include: Hispanic, African American, Anglican, women’s studies, pastoral care, urban ministry. New for Fall 2017: concentrations in Church Management and Social Innovation and Nonprofit Engagement.

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GREENSBORO COLLEGE For 178 years, Greensboro College has had the opportunity to genuinely know, encourage and prepare our students. In the classroom. In student life. Into their future careers. And throughout their lives. Today, we celebrate all those who give power to small numbers. We celebrate that which makes each student his or her own. It is this rich patchwork of individuality, community and experience that is unmistakably and uniquely Greensboro. Full tuition and partial scholarships for religion, ethics, and philosophy are available. Visit us online at Greensboro.edu

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JAIME GALLAGA, a construction worker and member of Bainbridge Hispanic Mission (Casa de Vida y Paz) in Georgia, will always remember May 26, 2013. That was the day he asked Jesus Christ to come into his heart and life. “That day,” Gallaga reflected, “someone invited my wife to church. We were going through a hard time, so I went with her. During the service, I felt like Pastor David Diaz was talking about my life, and I felt something in my heart I had never felt before – the Holy Spirit.” Gallaga went forward during the altar call and told God to send him wherever he was needed. Gallaga was baptized in August 2013 and since then has worked on God’s behalf whenever and wherever he can. “I feel peace in my heart and talk to my friends and family in Mexico about how Jesus Christ has made me happy. When I see coworkers going through hard times, I tell them Jesus Christ has control and that I will pray for them.” After a tornado touched down in Albany, Georgia, in January 2016, Gallaga organized a men’s group from his church to take water and food to members of El Faro United Methodist Church. The group did this each day after work for two weeks. To this day, Gallaga stays in touch with his newfound brothers and sisters in Christ. Gallaga also serves God as lay leader of his church and is a leader in the district. “I preach on Sunday when our pastor has to be out of town and I take care of the Friday night service. On COURTESY PHOTO

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Tuesday nights, I host a Bible study in our home.” When it comes to sharing his faith with others, Gallaga is a natural. “I never hesitate to share with people around me how great God is. If I don’t tell others, how will they know about Jesus Christ?” Cindy Solomon

Jaime Gallaga

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Campus ministries

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c o n n e c t c a r e e r, m i n i s t r y o p t i o n s BY POLLY HOUSE

Campus ministers and chaplains are uniquely suited to help guide these young adults through this process. They have been in the same position themselves. Collegiate ministry leaders at churchrelated institutions use varied approaches to reach students and lead them to a point of wise decision-making about how they can best serve God after graduation.

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OPEN THEIR EYES

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The Rev. Tim Harrison has been campus chaplain and director of church relations at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, for 19 years. He has found immersion trips to be an eyeopening experience for many of his students. Destinations have included

The Rev. Tim Harrison and one of the students at McKendree College enjoy a laugh.

Central America, the southwestern United States and, locally, the St. Louis area near the school. These trips introduce students to a different world and culture, he said. “Many of the students have never been outside the country, or really, outside of their own areas. They have no context about the lives other people lead. They learn that their own ‘normal’ is very different from someone else’s.” Students who went to Guatemala, for example, learned about immigration issues from Central Americans who are desperate to escape violence and poverty. They also learned about fair trade and how the choices they make as consumers affect people in Central America. Like other schools, McKendree offers testing and career studies to help students narrow their choices. Harrison also works with students and other staff “to help students determine what vocation might be the best fit,” he said. “If a student is sensing a call to ministry, I help walk them through what that means. They may find that the call is to vocational ministry. They may also find God is leading them into a secular career and wants them to be a powerful lay leader.”

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

Mentoring students is the most rewarding part of the job for the Rev. Elizabeth Horton-Ware, director of religious life at Oklahoma City University. Horton-Ware is beginning her second year at OCU, but is no novice at working with collegians. She previously directed the Wesley Foundation at Southwestern Oklahoma State for seven years. “I believe God has called all of us,” she said. “My first conversation with the students is that God calls us to serve God’s people. That happens through the local church, but it doesn’t have to be by way of ordained ministry.”

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FOR MANY STUDENTS ON UNITED METHODISTRELATED COLLEGE CAMPUSES, CHOOSING A MAJOR IS JUST ONE PART OF LOOKING FORWARD. THEY QUESTION HOW THEY CAN MESH A CAREER WITH A PASSION FOR SERVICE AND THE CHURCH.

GOD CALLS ALL

United Methodist Interpreter

The Rev. Elizabeth Horton-Ware

Horton-Ware shares her own call journey as part of the mentoring process. Including her call story in a Bible study or a sermon can help students work through what they are thinking.

INVOLVE STUDENTS IN LOCAL CHURCHES

Overseeing the campus ministry at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas, the Rev. Scott Jagodzinske is able to deal directly with students as they question what it means to grow into adults who will serve God. “We talk through this idea of ‘a call’ to ministry,” he said. One of the first things Jagodzinske does is suggest the student get involved in a local congregation as a volunteer. He helps students look at their gifts and strengths and determine what areas ignite passion. He helps students see that a calling can come out of anywhere. “I want them to understand voices of


into the community and other avenues of service,” he said. “I want to encourage them in their calling, since it’s normal to feel like ‘God couldn’t really have meant that.’”

KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

mentors can be God speaking into their lives,” he said. “I was fortunate to have mentors in my life who helped me explore my The Rev. Scott Jagodzinske call. I had the chance to explore if my calling was for vocational ministry. Mine was, but it might not have been. I tell the student to try different things. Get out there and see what feeds your soul.”

notion that they will make a difference. This may be vocational ministry, but it may not. They have to make that determination. A career path and a good paycheck are important, of course, but we want them to discover more.”

PASSIONS LINK FAITHS, STUDENTS

JUST ‘DO MINISTRY’

The Rev. Nancy Victorin-Vangerud has been campus chaplain and director of The Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, for 10 years. The Center’s motto – “Do all the good!” – reflects its commitment. She said

Connecting the students at Dillard University in New Orleans with local churches is a priority for the Rev. Earnest Salsberry. He has been university chaplain and director of religious life at the school since 2014. “I think at least 95 percent of my dealing with the students is pastoral care and student engagement,” he said. Dillard has a program called Vision Quest, a vocational ministry they use to help guide students in using their gifts in ministry. “They dance. They sing. They mime,” he said. “We don’t just talk about ministry; we let them participate on campus and in the local churches.” Salsberry believes his age (he’s 32) helps as he shares his call story with the students. “I work with students who are mostly 18-25,” he said. “They appreciate that it wasn’t that long ago I was dealing with the same things they are. When I talk about my calling into ministry, I use scripture. I

As the Hamline Community Bread Oven pizza bakers, the Rev. Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, left, and Hamline students learn skills of hospitality and baking for their neighborhood

the Hamline Wesley Center differs from a typical Wesley Foundation because it is open to and relates to students of all faiths on the campus. The shared values of passion for the world, social transformation and care for future generations link the students and faiths. When she talks with students who are considering a call into ordained ministry, Victorin-Vangerud encourages them to take advantage of opportunities to open up to the world in ways that will break their hearts. “We want them to see they can do something,” she said. “This gives them hope.” She often suggests reflection and journaling as ways to help discern a call. “I want them to tap into that heartache they feel for the world and then believe what they choose to follow will make the world a different place,” she said. “You want students to go into careers with the

United Methodist Interpreter

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

COURTESY DILLARD UNIVERSITY

COURTESY PHOTO

The Rev. Tim Drum, campus chaplain and director of church relations at Spartanburg Methodist College, is brand new to his position. He has some big dreams for the students. “Part of my goal is to help them figure out how to integrate their faith into their career choices,” he said. “You don’t have to be a vocational minister to serve God. If your passion is to love Jesus, you can do that in any career. Many students don’t know that.” SMC is a two-year college, with about 75 percent of their student body coming from the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina. About a third are commuters. Many, Drum added, come from what he called “difficult high school or financial situations.” “In orientation, students take aptitude and placement tests,” he said. “It helps them figure out The Rev. Tim Drum what classes to take. We offer ongoing academic and career counseling.” Drum said he will be on the lookout for students who have a calling and work with them to put that into practice. “I’ll involve them in chapel, outreach

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INTEGRATE FAITH, CAREER

The Rev. Earnest Salsberry

talk about Jonah and other passages. They want to understand how they can be young and in college and still be faithful to their calling.” Salsberry said he reminds them a calling doesn’t just have to be to a church staff. “A calling can just be to do ministry.”

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A

Unusual staff positions benefit

churches BY POLLY HOUSE

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It sounds like the start of a joke, but for these three women, it’s how they begin their workday. Each of them has taken a career usually seen in the secular world and carried her professional skills and passion to a position on a church staff.

THE NURSE

Joy Eastridge, R.N., has been a parish nurse for 20 years. She was first on staff at Mafair United Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. In 2005, she moved to First Broad Street UMC in Kingsport where she remains. Earlier this year, she became the first United Methodist Certified Lay Minister (CLM) with the specialization of parish nurse. When her children were small, Eastridge took two years off from nursing. In 1997, she felt ready to get back. “During a mission celebration at church, I felt an actual call to go into the ministry,” she said. “This was in February. I told God I wanted to follow him, but I still wanted to be a nurse — two loves combined. In March I saw an ad for a parish nurse. I thought, ‘This is my dream job.’ But I told myself it would be too much. It wound up it was a 12-hour-a-week job at Mafair, so I did that. This was what God has called me to do. “Parish nurses are advocates, educators

and information providers. I do a lot of visitation. I enable others to do ministry. My role is helping to connect people and discerning needs and gifts, then putting those together. My nursing gives me a special insight into helping people with health issues. I’m a resource person, especially for caregivers of people at home. I know about services in the area and help people connect. I provide spiritual support and do end-of-life visitation.” She also encourages church members to make healthy lifestyle choices. She coordinates a hiking club, walking activities and basketball and urges good eating, health and wellness. First Broad Street is a congregation of more than 2,000. Many are at-home (homebound) members served by the church’s ministries. Eastridge finds and supports coordinators for taking communion, sending cards and delivering small gifts on birthdays.

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A NURSE, A LAWYER AND A DANCER WALKED INTO A CHURCH ...

Joy Eastridge

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

United Methodist Interpreter

When Eastridge heard about the CLM certification for parish nurses, she was interested immediately. To become certified, she first completed a two-week orientation to parish nursing. It can now be done online. “You get the basics,” she said. “Every parish nurse experience will be a little different because each congregation is different. Every relationship is different. The PN is always under the direction of the senior pastor. You have to work well with the staff and use the gifts within the context of your congregation.” Following the orientation, it took Eastridge about six months of work online to complete all the modules for her certification. Jodi Cataldo, director of Laity in Leadership for the Leadership Ministries area of Discipleship Ministries, said many parish nurses are in their system, but they don’t carry the endorsement of the denomination because they lack the United Methodist studies in the certification curriculum. A number of parish nurses are now in the process of seeking CLM certification. (Learn more about the process at www. umcdiscipleship.org/resources/certifiedlay-minister. Information for clergy seeking certification is at www.gbhem.org/ education/certification.) “Of all the specializations we offer for CLMs, the UM Parish Nurse is by far gaining the most momentum,” Cataldo said.


THE LAWYER

Angela Davis finished Princeton Theological Seminary and signed on as an AmeriCorps volunteer. That took her to First Grace United Methodist Church in New Orleans. First Grace is a church born from Hurricane Katrina. Two congregations — one mostly white, one mostly black — joined when both were struggling with a new normal following the storm. Davis, who grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, was excited about the opportunity to work with First Grace. The church has ministries for the congregation — programs for children and youth, a vibrant Latino ministry, music and visual arts, United Methodist Women, ushers and greeters and more. However, the church realized quickly that it also needed to be reaching out into the community. The church started a food pantry, parenting classes, free Spanish and English classes and a Wednesday night supper and Bible study ministry. In 2007, it opened Hagar’s House, a shelter for homeless women and children. Seven years later, Project Ishmael, a small clinic providing direct legal representation for children of immigrants, began. Both Hagar’s House and Project Ishmael are missions of First Grace Community Alliance, a 501(c) (3) organization formed by the church. Davis moved into Hagar’s House, working with the ministry and the church. Before long, she became convinced she could do more as an attorney. She went to Loyola University’s law school at night, passed the bar and became the sole attorney for Project Ishmael. “I work with the children primarily,” Davis said. “There is such a need for

THE DANCER

COURTESY PHOTO

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Angela Davis

representation for these children and families of immigrants. I like these kids. My law office is covered with puzzles and picture books. These kids see justice so clearly. They see right and wrong.” A newer activity for Davis is drawing up guardianship paperwork for children that spells out who will care for the youngsters should their undocumented parents be deported. A church member volunteered to notarize all the provisional custody forms. Davis said she is thankful for the volunteers who sustain Project Ishmael. “The church owns the house where we live and work,” she said. “They provide meals. They respond to any needs. Since the presidential inauguration last January, we’ve had a lot of support to do for the immigrants.” She also acknowledged her need for intercessory prayers. “Being a person of faith is what led me to this community of faith,” she said. “I covet prayer for the work. My mom and my home church pray for me. I ask for prayers from the people at First Grace. Pastor Shawn (Anglim, pastor of First Grace) prays a lot.” Davis said one of her prayers right now is for another lawyer to work with Project Ishmael. “If we had another attorney, we could help three times the number of kids!”

the community through the art of dance. Teaching responsibility, respect and caring, Studio 150 is developing youth to become Christian adults with quality dance education.” Artistic director of Studio 150 since 2015, Logus works alongside seven dance instructors to teach about 60 students. A member of the Greek Orthodox Church, Logus saw dance work as a ministry in her own church when she was a member of the youth group. “I know dance is a part of our [Greek Orthodox] culture, and I saw it work, bringing our youth together,” she said. “I believe that is true for dance in general. It brings unity.” As a professional, Logus said she learns alongside the students. “I believe any time you are in a new setting that is different from where you were before, you always learn something new,” she said. “Working with the board (she requested) has been great. I have someone who has my back. We have all been able to grow with and help the kids. I have a board who has a vision and is leading the way.”

Jenny Logus is artistic director of Studio 150, a ministry of First United Methodist Church in Win- Jenny Logus with two of the ter Park, Florida. The studio young dancers at Studio 150 is self-funded and led by a board of five church members. It also has an arts administrator from the church. The church’s website describes the dance studio as a ministry of the church with a “commitment to artistic excellence and innovation. Studio 150 serves

United Methodist Interpreter

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

Polly House is editorial assistant for Interpreter.

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P R AC T IC I N G FA I T H AT W O R K

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FOR MORE THAN 10 years Dr. Carlenda M. Smith, a board-certified general pediatrician and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, has had countless opportunities to weave her faith into everyday encounters with patients and their families. “As a young person, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field,” said Smith. Growing up, Smith’s parents often referred to her as “Lucy” — the comic character in Peanuts. “I had a knack for listening and giving advice — things I consider gifts from God.” Smith relies on her faith for guidance in everything she does and realizes her journey into the medical field was made possible by the divine presence of God. However, the journey was not always easy. Smith failed her first block of tests in medical school and remembers several professors encouraging her to consider other career options. “I remember praying and asking God what to do. I felt God telling me, ‘I did not send you here to fail.’ I learned how to study more efficiently and I continued praying. After that first semester, I passed all my tests and excelled in all of my courses.” As a young physician, Smith faced faith-building

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CARLENDA SMITH Love, care for all

Dr. Carlenda M. Smith

challenges. “Fresh out of residency I was working at a clinic that was plagued by an unusual number of problems,” Smith recalled. “I was the only doctor employed there so essentially I was running my own clinic. Nothing can prepare you for the day you have to deliver bad news to a family, and that first time came early in my career.” Smith was seeing a young patient with unusual symptoms. “The child did not fit the profile of a seriously ill child but the Holy Spirit was telling me to trust my instincts. My worst fears were realized when test results showed an

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

aggressive malignancy that required immediate surgery. When I delivered the news to the family, we all wept and prayed. I thanked God for the divine wisdom and intervention that led me to the diagnosis. Through God’s healing power, the child went through surgery and treatment and is now free of the malignancy.” For Smith, practicing her faith in the workplace means being open and loving to everyone she sees. “I have the privilege of nurturing and caring for a diverse patient population,” she said. “Learning about various

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cultures and religions has been amazing. As a believer in God, my eyes have been open to my patients’ need for compassion, understanding and love. My faith has enabled me to be more caring, loving and accepting of individuals as they are. For me, that is practicing God’s love.” Smith, a member of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, believes sharing our faith means loving and caring for everyone we meet. “In this day and age, there seems to be a lack of respect for those who differ from us or who have a different faith. I believe actions speak louder than words. As found in 1 Corinthians 13:13, ‘But the greatest of these is love.’ “I am a living testimony of what God can do, and certain scripture passages have been part of my journey. I am often reminded of Psalm 128:1-2, ‘Happy are those who respect the Lord and obey him. You will enjoy what you work for, and you will be blessed with good things.’” Smith is also drawn to Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” Cindy Solomon


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BY DANIEL BELL

THE REFORMATION AND THE WESLEYS: A COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP

Lastly, King Henry VIII, embroiled in a fight with the Roman Catholic Church over politics and progeny, precipitated the Reformation in England. And the Church of England provided the stage upon which John and Charles Wesley and the people called Methodists providentially emerge. How did the thinking that led to the Reformation and the theologies that developed in its wake affect the Wesleys and the rise of Methodism? What should United Methodists celebrate as the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Reformation approaches?

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ON ALL SAINTS EVE IN 1517, MARTIN LUTHER NAILED HIS “95 THESES” CALLING FOR THE REFORM OF THE CHURCH TO THE CASTLE CHURCH DOOR IN WITTENBERG, GERMANY. THIS MOMENT TRADITIONALLY MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE REFORMATION AND THE BIRTH OF THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES. IN THE DECADES THAT FOLLOWED, JOHN CALVIN LED A MOVEMENT THAT WOULD GIVE RISE TO PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES AND HULDRYCH ZWINGLI GAVE RISE TO WHAT WOULD BECOME THE BAPTIST TRADITION.

Artist Ferdinand Pauwels’ 1872 piece “Luther Posting the 95 Theses” depicts Martin Luther’s act in 1517.

METHODISM AND THE REFORMATION

The Reformation’s impact on England was complex. Some rulers enforced more or less strict versions of Reformation theology while others returned to the Catholic fold. The Wesleys also had a complex relationship to the theologies of the Reformation. On one hand, they were firm heirs of the Reformation. The Wesleys shared the Reformation’s commitment

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to Scripture and to the priesthood of all believers. John Wesley’s famous Aldersgate experience of the warm heart happened as he heard Martin Luther’s “Preface to the Epistle to the Romans” being read. Shortly after this experience, he spent several years working with the Moravians, a movement closely linked to the Lutheran reformation. Likewise, the early Methodist movement grew in close connection with the evangelical revival in England that the Calvinists dominated. Lastly,

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consider John’s high praise for Luther’s insight on the centrality of justification by grace through faith, which is the theological cornerstone of the Reformation. About Luther he declares, “Who has wrote more ably than Martin Luther on justification by faith alone?” On the other hand, the Wesleys and the Methodist movement embodied a kind of counter-Reformation or, perhaps more charitably, a reformation of the Reformation. If at its theological core the Reformation was about reasserting or clarifying the centrality


THE REFORMATION AND THE WESLEYS of justification by faith alone, we might say that Wesley and the Methodists embodied a challenge, a corrective. It was John’s contention that the Reformation, while rightly lifting up justification by grace, erred by downplaying or ignoring sanctification, that is God’s gift of healing sinners by making saints who lived holy lives. It was as if the Reformation had forgotten that God’s gift of salvation includes both pardon and healing/making holy. The Wesleys were convinced that God raised up the people called Methodists to remind the church of the whole Christ – the Christ who both pardons and heals. In this regard, it is worth returning to Wesley’s comment on Luther, this time citing the whole passage from his sermon “On God’s Vineyard”: Many who have spoken

and written admirably well concerning justification, had no clear conception, nay, were totally ignorant, of the doctrine of sanctification. Who has wrote more ably than Martin Luther on justification by faith alone? And who was more ignorant of the doctrine of sanctification, or more confused in his conceptions of it? . . . . On the other hand, how many writers of the Romish Church . . . have wrote strongly and scripturally on sanctification, who, nevertheless, were entirely unacquainted with the nature of justification! . . . But it has pleased God to give the Methodists a full and clear knowledge of each, and the wide difference between them. (I.5) Recently some Finnish Lutheran scholars, among others, have shown that Luther had a robust sense of sanctification that seems to

METHODISM AMONG THE DENOMINATIONS

The complex relationship between Methodism and the Reformation does not end with Methodism’s mission of reminding the whole church that the gracious gift of salvation entails both justification/ pardon and sanctification/ healing. It extends further to the point of questioning the

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Young visitors struggle with the three-dimensional puzzle to figure out what Re-formation means as they visit the United Methodist Church booth at the German Kirchentag in Berlin in May. The puzzle is now being used at the UMC booth at the Reformation exhibition in Wittenberg, Germany.

have been lost by some of his heirs. However, setting aside whether John Wesley offers a fair appraisal of Luther, we can see how the early Methodist movement embodies a complex relationship to the Reformation. It is indeed a kind of counter-Reformation as it basically encouraged the Reformation not to discard “Romish” insights on sanctification and holy living. Indeed, some frequently criticized the Wesleys precisely for what were perceived to be their Catholic affinities in this regard.

United Methodist Interpreter

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

validity of denominations. Even as he appreciated the Reformation and was deeply committed to the gospel truth of justification by grace through faith, John Wesley abhorred schism, divisions in the church. Indeed, he held that it was the Methodists’ “peculiar glory” that they resisted separating from the Church of England and founding a new denomination. Whatever we rightly celebrate about the Reformation – and Wesley celebrated much – we must not ignore the shadow-side of the Reformation – the fact that it marks a great division in the church. Indeed, it marks the beginning of a great fracturing of the church into a host of not always congenial denominations. In this regard, John recognized that Christians’ inability or unwillingness to live in communion with our sisters and brothers – due either to open conflict or a seemingly more benign brand-preference – was a breach of the law of love. As he put it, “The pretences for separation may be innumerable, but want of love is always the real cause.” This failure to love creates a grave problem for the church’s efforts at evangelism. It is a counter-witness to the Gospel that gives non-believers grounds for rejecting the faith. Our failure actually to love one another amidst the often-difficult vicissitudes of life belies all our sermons and exhortations about God’s loving us. All of which is to say that from a Wesleyan perspective celebrating the Reformation

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THE REFORMATION AND THE WESLEYS

ANDREW BOOZER

is a tricky matter. The Methodist movement embodied a theological check on the Reformation, reminding it not to discard the truth of sanctification even as it rightly rejected a moralizing works-righteousness in the name of justification by grace. So, too, the Methodist movement resisted separating or splitting from The Church of England to form a new denomination. Wesley would utterly despise a denomination that had lost its roots in the mission of reformation and had become instead little more than the religious analog of a corporate brand. We might do well to recall and reflect upon Albert Outler’s lament about maintenance becoming the mission of the church, modified perhaps to reflect current realities and pressures as “survival become the mission of the church.” Whatever we celebrate when we mark the Reformation, we must not celebrate schism or minimize the seriousness of divisions in the church.

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WHAT SHOULD WE CELEBRATE?

Without question, Methodism is a proud child of the Reformation, deeply committed to the gospel of justification freely offered by God in Christ. Yet, even as Methodism claims its rightful place in the Reformation procession, it recognizes its providential mission to continue the reformation. Perhaps the first way United Methodists and others in the Wesleyan family celebrate the Reformation is by recalling their reforming mission – to remind the whole church of God’s salvific gift,

The Rev. Daniel Bell

not only of justification or the pardon of sin but also of healing from the corrupting power of sin, of the sanctification that reforms sinners and enables holy living. In this reforming spirit, Wesley was fond of encouraging his followers to “provoke one another to love and to good works.” (Hebrews 10:24) So, United Methodists celebrate the Reformation first and foremost by living reformed lives, that is, living lives that reflect the power of God not only to pardon sinners but to sanctify them as well, forming holy tempers and holy lives. We celebrate the Reformation best by fulfilling our providential mission of provoking one another to love and good works. Moreover, we do this best not by keeping to ourselves, like a pile of salt off in the corner (to use again an image from John’s Gospel) or by celebrating our separated existence, as if schism and division were an inconsequential matter. Rather, it is our “peculiar glory” to exist only for the sake of the whole church, for the sake of provoking our sisters and brothers in other churches to love and good works.

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

This celebration of the Reformation provides a wonderful occasion for us to revisit, or perhaps visit for the first time, the relationships we have with other denominations. Some of those are found in formal full communion agreements, such as we have with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the northern and southern provinces of the Moravian Church and the Uniting Church of Sweden. Others are informal, growing from a host of relationships established in local communities through shared worship experiences and works of mercy. Just as God raised us up so that others might learn of the glorious gift of sanctification, there is much we can learn from our Anglican, Lutheran and Catholic sisters and brothers, among others. In the end, to celebrate the Reformation as United Methodists is to celebrate the God who refuses to accept the separation, the division, the conflict that sin occasions. It is to celebrate the God who does not just pardon sinners but who also sanctifies – breaking down dividing walls, overcoming hostility, healing the brokenness that is sin by making sinners saints and enemies friends in Christ’s one, holy, catholic body, which is the Church. The Rev. Daniel Bell retired this spring from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, where he was professor of theology and ethics. A United Methodist elder, he is a member of the Florida Conference now living in Salt Lake City.

United Methodist Interpreter

GERMAN UMS JOIN REFORMATION OBSERVANCE Anyone who wants to experience the Reformation will not by pass Wittenberg, Germany in 2017. The city is marking the 500th anniversary of the event with lots of information and experiences about history and today’s churches. The United Methodist Church in Germany is also participating and is part of the World Reformation Exhibition that opened in July. While still in office, now retired Germany Bishop Rosemarie Wenner announced that United Methodists would participate. “If we make the renewal power of the gospel work, reformation will happen at any time,” Wenner said. Participation in the exhibition also symbolized her gratitude for the membership of The United Methodist Church and other Methodist churches in Europe in the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), which has existed since 1997. Churches from all over the world, international institutions, organizations, initiatives and many cultural creators are presenting their view of the Reformation at the Exhibition. The United Methodist booth has a large, three-dimensional puzzle “Re-formation.” The puzzle, used earlier this year at the “German Kirchentag” (church congress) attracts a great deal of attention there as visitors experience in a playful way how to deal positively with change. An already successfully joined puzzle is to be supplemented by a further part. The puzzle demonstrates how the initially disturbing part can be integrated.

The Rev. Klaus Ulrich Ruof is the communicator for The United Methodist Church in Germany. Contact: communications@emk.de


UMC #G ivinG Tuesday I s n ovember 28

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BY JULIE DWYER

TO BE A WITNESS(United Methodist-style)

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The word “witness” was added by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference to highlight the mission and evangelistic responsibilities of church membership. It also reminds United Methodists to live out their vows publicly, said the Rev. Mark W. Stamm, professor of Christian worship at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “All of those (others) can be done fairly privately,” he said. “If we’re making disciples for the transformation of the world, then we need to remind ourselves that this isn’t just an act of piety that we do privately ... Among the people with whom we worship God — our local church — we’re called to live the gospel publicly in ways that can be seen. And that’s what witness is all about.” Stamm, author of Our Membership Vows, a Discipleship Ministries resource, said churches individually need to discern how they are going to do that in a specific way and a specific place. One of the ways The Gathering United Methodist Church in St. Louis is witnessing to its community is through the Literacy Project. The reading mentor program

teaches kids to read and provides support to school staff and families. “We are committed to impacting the literacy rate in St. Louis Public Schools,” said Sabra Engelbrecht, executive director of ministries at The Gathering, a multisite congregation with more than 700 members and 1,200 in weekly worship. “Our witness is being present in some of the lowest performing schools in our state — places that the public has largely overlooked or forgotten.” Through witness and outreach ministries like the Literacy Project, churches can offer members a way to uphold their membership vows. Finding local mission work that they are passionate about both connects them with their community and strengthens their commitment to supporting the church in concrete ways. REMIND PEOPLE OF VOWS

Continuing to talk about membership responsibilities also is important. Engelbrecht said The Gathering creates a culture around five shared practices: worship, learning in CoreGroups, prayer, service and giving. “We reference these

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

COURTESY OF THE GATHERING

WHEN NEW MEMBERS JOIN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, THEY PROFESS THE VOWS OF THE BAPTISMAL COVENANT. THEY PROMISE TO BE LOYAL TO CHRIST THROUGH THE GLOBAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AND TO BE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN A LOCAL CONGREGATION, PLEDGING “TO FAITHFULLY PARTICIPATE IN ITS MINISTRIES BY THEIR PRAYERS, THEIR PRESENCE, THEIR GIFTS, THEIR SERVICE AND THEIR WITNESS.”

Volunteers from The Gathering United Methodist Church carry the Literacy Project throughout their city, helping St. Louis public school students improve their reading skills.

practices regularly in weekend teaching, as well as develop sermon series to highlight particular practices. ... CoreGroups, our adult small group ministry, reinforce these practices, and our curriculum is designed to equip people to engage in these practices. We currently have close to 800 adults participating in CoreGroups,” she said. Stamm, a third-generation United Methodist elder, said Lent is a great time to study the Baptismal Covenant and explore how to live out those promises faithfully. “We commit at baptism to resist evil and repent of our sin. We commit to resist injustice and oppression and work against them. So the question is: ‘Where is the injustice in the place that we live? What does it look like here? Do we have the courage to name it where we’re living? And if we name it, then, what would resisting it look like?’

United Methodist Interpreter

“You can come up with all kinds of examples,” he said. “Once you start the conversation — start asking what does it look like to do this vow where we are living — you do that and you trust people, (they) will start to get it.” Stamm recalls a story from his book Devoting Ourselves to the Prayers: A Baptismal Theology for the Church’s Intercessory Work about the Sisters of the Precious Blood, a group of Catholic nuns in Dayton, Ohio. The sisters were distraught after a series of murders in their area in the early 1990s. After watching the local news one night at the convent, he said, some of the sisters looked at each other and remarked, “Isn’t that awful? Someone ought to do something.” “Well, when you say something like that in God’s hearing, guess who that someone often is,” Stamm said. The women answered God’s call to action. They began holding prayer vigils every time there was a new murder. However, they took it a step further by gathering at the crime scenes, which were often in dangerous locations. It was risky, but they wanted to make sure that fear and violence didn’t get the last word, Stamm said. The vigils eventually became an ecumenical endeavor and continue to this day. Identifying the needs in a community and taking action


is what witness is all about. United Methodist congregations are doing that every day, whether it’s providing sanctuary for immigrants, offering after-school care for at-risk kids, helping the homeless or standing up for the marginalized. “That’s witness, when you do things like that. You do them publicly. You discern as a congregation that this is the particular way that God is asking us to be faithful to our baptismal vows in this place,” Stamm said. LIVE YOUR WITNESS

United Methodists also can witness outside of church structures to co-workers and neighbors. “If we can be relieved of thinking we have to somehow become particularly articulate theologically to witness, if we can get past that ... We’re not asking people to be amateur

preachers and teachers ... we are asking them to live consistently with the gospel,” Stamm said. Leading a Christian life by example is a form of witness, whether it’s acting with integrity in the workplace, showing compassion to neighbors, or helping others embody the love of Christ through advocacy and outreach. New United Methodist Jill Schmalz, who became a member of The Gathering last fall, is living out her faith through volunteering, small group ministries and Christian education classes. She said there are easy ways to witness in day-to-day life. “Sometimes, it can be as simple as including church attendance when discussing your weekend plans. ... People are curious, and most of us have experienced that longing for a greater purpose or understanding in life. When you

make yourself approachable and are willing to listen, people will ask about faith. ... I am glad to share my story with others,” she said. Engelbrecht highlights the work of another church member, Debbie Johnson, who organized a network of Allstate insurance agencies to spearhead a $30,000 renovation of the library at Peabody Elementary, the lowest-performing school in the city of St. Louis. Prior to the dedication of the library, in a video for The Gathering, Johnson reflected on the impact of a community coming together. “We’re touching the lives of hundreds of kids, not only the kids that attend the school today but also the kids that are going to walk through these doors for years to come,” Johnson said. “I am so very happy and blessed to be a part of this, but it wasn’t me. I wasn’t enough. I was able to

get the help of 29 other Allstate agency owners to join me.” Engelbrecht said The Gathering encourages and equips its members to be “agents of invitation” at work and in their communities. “By sharing with others the transformation that we have experienced at The Gathering, we partner with Christ to increase his kingdom,” she said. Stamm agrees that the rewards are far-reaching, and it begins with people believing they can make a difference. “Any kind of positive intervention in a system can begin to change the whole system,” he said. “Positive witness in any particular place can begin to change the community. It really can.” Julie Dwyer is general church content editor at United Methodist Communications.

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People, personalities, passions

I Am United Methodist Tennessee teacher works hard, prays hard

T 48

ammy Lovell, a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee, loves children. An elementary school teacher in Franklin for her entire 33-year career, 17 as a special education teacher and the past 16 in third grade, she can’t imagine doing anything else. Teaching is her dream job. Teaching also is hard work. For Lovell, having the support of her fellow Christ Church members is a real blessing. “Over the years, I have had many individuals from my church purchase school supplies for children who need them,” she said. “I have had members bring treats, and once, one of the women even functioned as a room mother when I didn’t have a parent volunteer. Currently, there is a church member who volunteers almost daily reading with my students. Many members have ‘adopted’ families at Christmas time.” Lovell and her family have been members of Christ Church since its beginning in 1985. “The conference purchased the land, and we started meeting in a tent,” Lovell said. “Franklin and Brentwood UMCs came on

board to help us get started. My husband, Gilbert, and I led the youth group until we could hire a paid staff member.” Lovell’s experience as a teacher made her a natural to serve on the Children’s Council for years. “I finally rotated off so some of the other parents could serve,” she said, adding with a laugh, “but I’m still on call!” She has taught Sunday school and mentored youngsters during confirmation preparation. She and her daughter Becca Lovell Miller work together and help lead a children’s music and mission camp at the church each summer. Christ Church, with a membership of about 1,000 people, is a large congregation in Williamson County, just south of Nashville. Forbes magazine listed the county as the 16th wealthiest county in the United States with an average household income of more than $90,000. “People have the incorrect idea that everyone in Williamson County is rich,” Lovell said. “Many are, but there are also pockets of poverty right here in Franklin. There is a housing project near my school, and some of my students live there. About a third of the students are on free

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

CHRIST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE

COURTESY PHOTO

Tammy Lovell

Tammy Lovell mentored Mallory as she prepared to be confirmed in May.

lunch. Having the support of my church is important. They help meet a lot of the needs for the kids.” A “born and raised Methodist,” Lovell has worked with children since she was 14 years old, when her home church, Dunwoody (Georgia) United Methodist Church, gave her the opportunity to teach in vacation Bible school. She went to Vanderbilt University, majored in elementary and special education and met her future husband.

United Methodist Interpreter

During the summers, she worked with kids back home. “I was director of leisure ministry at DUMC,” she said. “I was able to create and coordinate three camps: one for our church kids, one for inner-city kids and another for special-needs kids. I had to get the camps organized and recruit enough volunteers to come work. It took a lot of volunteers!” One summer, Lovell asked Dunwoody’s music director to bring the church’s handbells to the camp for the kids. “My goodness, there were some people who nearly died,” she laughed. “You just don’t let the handbells leave the church building, much less let a bunch of kids play with them. But our music director was great. He brought them out and helped the kids play.” This year, as school was getting ready to start in August, Lovell received her student roster. “I pray for each child by name and for their family,” she said. “I pray for my colleagues. I pray for God to work through me every day to show love and grace to my students. I pray to be their sunshine.” Polly House is editorial assistant for Interpreter and Interpreter OnLine.


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United Methodist Interpreter

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Getting wired for God

Technology Getting people into The Mix

Rhonda Sweet

SUPER PROFRESH

50

SEPTEMBER • OCTOBER 2017

of tomorrow. The Dallas Peace and Justice Center works for peacemaking, the recognition of human and civil rights and the pursuit of ecological and climate justice. Boone is careful to note this is not some sort of baitand-switch to try to get people to become church members, “but literally just to say, ‘Look, we’ve got all this extra space. We want your passions to be realized and found and then A budding entrepreneur works in acted upon.” And that kind one of the labs at The Mix. of unconditional love has brought many of the people that are part of The Mix into sewing lab complete with other ministries of the church. digital embroidery machines, “It’s about textiles workbeing the hands room and even a and feet of dance studio. Jesus,” Sweet The impact said. “The love is incredible. and grace we “People who may show them lets never come to them see faith church will come positively and to a coworking make a choice of space” Sweet said. what to do about “Then I get to use faith in their hospitality as a The Rev. Mitchell Boone own lives.” means of grace All of that to show people the love of God. We are a beacon of from an almost unused basement space. light meeting people’s needs.” Through this missional The Rev. Jeremy Steele is Next use of building space, White Generation minister at Christ Rock Church has provided United Methodist Church, technological fuel to a range Mobile, Alabama. He is also an of different businesses. The author, blogger at jeremywords. Ahadi Collective trains com and a frequent contribuAfrican refugees in sewing, tor to MyCom, an e-newsletter product creation and busipublished by United Methodist ness operation. Linden Grove Communications. Theatre offers classes for children to grow as the artists COURTESY THE MIX

happen if the church could open its doors to local entrepreneurs and provide access to the technology that would be well outside the grasp of most people starting a small business? What if their unused space could be a place to help people make their dreams a reality? In partnership with Varyn BeVengotita at the Missional Wisdom Foundation, White Rock Church gave birth to The Mix that Sweet helps facilitate as the community conduit. “When people walk through the door, I try to help them bring their dreams to life,” Sweet said. A major boost is giving the budding entrepreneurs access to a range of technology. They start with a 45Mbs Internet connection. There are also a professional culinary kitchen, podcasting studio, video conferencing room,

COURTESY PHOTO

R

honda Sweet was living in Florida working a corporate job when she felt the call of God to go into urban missions. She wasn’t exactly sure what that would mean, but she followed God into that call. Sweet ultimately left the corporate world and moved to Dallas where she found a job as a caterer and community conduit at an innovative new initiative called The Mix Coworking and Creative Space (themixcoworking.spaces. nexudus.com). Housed in White Rock United Methodist Church, The Mix was the brainchild of the Rev. Mitchell Boone. The then newly appointed pastor was considering how to utilize a large church facility that was unused for the majority of the time. He wondered what might

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Interpreter | 2017 Sept/Oct  

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