Monday, September 30, 2013

Calling in the Digital Age, has the Ringtone Changed?

I'm going to this event called Exploration (through the United Methodist Church) in Denver in November to learn about ways I can live out my calling of working in a church setting of some sort. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Excited for seeing old friends who I only get to see every few years as well as meeting new friends who share a passion for ministry in the United Methodist Church. Nervous for seeing where the holy spirit moves me into my calling for ordained ministry.

I had always felt a calling to work with the church in someway. My first mission trip was to the Yakima Indian Reservation in White Swan, Washington. The pastor working there at the time was Jane Sautter.  I saw what an impact she made on the children in the after school program. That made me think I could do something like that.

If you had asked me freshmen year of college what my dream job would be I would have said working at church camp. Preferably Camp Indianola, in Indianola, Washington.

Now my focus has changed in what I want to do in ministry. Currently I want to do photography with an emphasis on social justice issues combined with the use of social media and communication to communicate for others what is happening around the world.

I see myself working in the extension ministries role of ordained ministry and not in a typical church setting. I see my role not in a local church but helping bring communication to people around the world in ways that are new, exciting, and maybe even never tried before.

The voice that has called me into calling has changed over time from just being internal to people telling me you should do this with the church. The main person who pushed me into this line of ministry was my former DS, friend, and mentor Mary Huycke. Whether she realizes it or not it was the push I needed. To experience the different side of church that wasn't just all about meetings and legislative work. The side where rules didn't really matter and being creative with new intentions and ideas was key.

Being a young person in the United Methodist Church that is highly active in there conference is a rarity these days. Knowing that clergy and laity have looked at your work you have done and see the potential you have for the future of the church is important. With that I know the work I do for the church makes a difference in peoples lives in ways that we wouldn't have thought were imaginable 20 years ago.

Monday, September 23, 2013

You Call Them What? The First World Problems of Knowing Everyone in the UMC.

I am involved in a lot of church things, serving on various committees, doing social media, photography, and writing for the local, district, conference, jurisdiction, and national level of the United Methodist Church. With this comes the ability to know laity, clergy, DS's, Bishops, missionaries and other church folk who are in high places. How do I go about calling people one might ask?

For the average church person they might just call there Bishop by his or her first or last name. I on the other hand call the Bishop by his or her nickname. I only do this to the ones that I personally know and have to deal with it. I call these two Bish Grant and Bish Elaine. These nicknames are said by the younger people when dealing with the Bish in a conference event such as annual conference.

With my DS's, I normally call them by their first name but, sometimes I call them random things that don't really make sense unless you understand our friendship.

The looks I and the other young people get when call the Bish and other clergy said names is rather entertaining. The look is basically you just said what and he or she responded back to you.  Some people think its insane that I call the Bishop or clergy anything besides his or her formal name. For me its normal and a sign of a good relationship. I think it's not a problem once you know the person and have a friendship with them that goes beyond the church walls.  

In reality its not in the name of what you call your clergy, or Bish. Instead its the relationship you have with them that matters. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bishops, Twitter, and Churchquake

I was looking at my twitter feed featuring tweets from ChurchQuake 2013 (#cq13) and decided to tweet something.  

#wjumc has the coolest bishops ever hands down. We do what the LORD requires of us not what the #BoD wants. #umc #cq13

I didn’t know that my tweet was going to cause so much controversy. A blog post in response in response to my tweet can be found here.

Having spent quite a bit of time with two of the bishops in the Western Jurisdiction (thanks Grant and Elaine), I know a bit about their personal involvement with the Reconciling Ministries Network movement.

With that being said the Western Jurisdiction is on of the most if not the top progressive Jurisdiction in the United Methodist Church. We like to do things a bit differently around here. Our jurisdiction and many of our conferences including my own (PNW) passed resolution saying we will ignore what the Book of Discipline says about marriage being just between a man and a women. Instead we agree that marriage should be available to all Gods people.

I went to a conference with young adults from our jurisdiction and the one thing they said that they liked about the church is that we don't follow the Book of Discipline exactly as it says we should. We do what the Lord requires of us not what a book says. I agree. The basic message of God is that we should love everyone no if ands or buts.

My ability to be bold in my witness to God and the church was needed to show everyone on all sides of the table that we will not be silent any longer on the topic of LGBTQI equality in the church. I stand with the bishop of the Western Jurisdiction. The table if open for ALL.