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.