¶324.9.k: How do you perceive yourself, your gifts, your motives, your role, and your commitment as a provisional member and commissioned minister in The United Methodist Church?
I perceive myself as having the gifts that support my calling as an elder in the United Methodist Church: to Word, I bring the gifts of creativity, preaching, and curiosity; to Sacrament I bring reverence, inclusiveness, and joy; to order I bring vision, vulnerability, and integrity; to service I bring empathy, enthusiasm, and wisdom. My greatest gift, at the root of all others, is my experience of God’s love. Knowing God’s pardoning love gives me the confidence to be vulnerable and try new things, I might fail, but I know I am beloved. I look forward with enthusiasm, creativity, and a new vision for tomorrow, at the same time I am deeply respectful and reverent of the traditions handed down to me. Because I am rooted in God’s grace, I can comfortably hold the contradictions of both. I am grateful for all God gives me and understand that they are not given to me for my benefit alone, but I am to do all I can to share God’s love through them.
As a provisional member and commissioned minister, my role in the church includes Word, Sacrament, order and service. I am committed to live and share the Word of God, sharing God’s love and grace through preaching and teaching. I will administer the Sacraments inviting all to God’s table. I am committed to leading the church in this time of great change and unrest. Finally, I will live into my belief that God did not give us the church for our own sake, but the church is the body of Christ in the whole world. I serve with love because I am loved. Above all else, my commitment is to share the love of God with all I encounter. I believe the United Methodist Church gives me the language, history, and connectional community to do this. God’s love is best shared in community, and the United Methodist Church is the community in which I have felt God’s presence most clearly. I am committed to be obedient to the polity of the UMC, to work towards change in the imperfect institution, and to represent the truth of Scripture, tradition, my personal experience, and reason the best I know how.
You will find and introduction to my BOM theological paperwork here: Doctrinal Exam