2010 #UMYC Bracket Challenge

Will you join other young clergy in an NCAA Bracket Challenge? This is open to all United Methodist Clergy age 35 and under.

All you need to do is:

  1. Visit http://bit.ly/InYNK.
  2. Create a password with CBS (if you don’t have one already)
  3. The pool password is the full name of the founder of Methodism in one lower case word. My name in this format would be “andrewconard”.

I am confident in my prediction that a college from within the South Central Jurisdiction is able to go all the way. Your only hint is: rock, chalk… ;)

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My Call to Ministry

My call to ministry has been a chain of experiences that have brought me to my current understanding of God’s call in my life. In the summer of 2002, I realized that God was not calling me to a career in biology, my field of study at the time. I considered many possibilities for life after graduation during the fall semester of my final year at Pittsburg State University. One of those possibilities was pursuing graduate theological education.

At a campus ministry reterat, as I was reading the account of Jesus calling his disciples in the Gospel according to John, I heard God speaking to me. The disciples’ question, “Where are you staying?” seemed to correspond to my question, “What is this whole seminary thing about?” Jesus responds clearly to them: “Come and see.” To me this response was Jesus saying to me, “Come and find out what seminary is about and how you can serve God in the world. Follow me and I will show you what you need to know.” As a result of this and other experiences, I enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2003 from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS.

When I enrolled in seminary I was not sure of which direction theological education would take me. Over the next few years my calling was refined from a call to seminary, to a confirmation of my place in seminary, to a call to ordained ministry serving in the local church. I graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree in May 2006.

It has been a mix of struggle, joy and surprises. I was helped primarily by my family and friends. I am currently serving as a pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.

One of the positive influences in my call to ministry was an exploration event. I invite you to consider www.gbhem.org/exploration as a possibility if you are exploring a call to ministry and are between a high school senior and age 24.

Invitation to UMC Young Clergy Collaboration

“Give me one hundred [people] who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.” –John Wesley

Does this describe you? Are you under age 35 and a clergy person in the United Methodist Church?

I invite you to be a part of a collaboration of young clergy at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection on October 8, 2009 just prior to the Leadership Institute 2009.

We will continue on the trajectory set by 40 Days of Prayer and 6 Questions for The United Methodist Church and seek to raise up leaders, share stories and create next steps to renew the church.

You are invited to:

  1. Make arrangements to be present on October 8, 2009 at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
  2. Sign up at http://ow.ly/jjEE to confirm your presence.
  3. After sign up, look to receive emails with “UMC Young Clergy Collaboration” in the subject line for time, location and how to prepare for October 8.
  4. Invite two other young clergy to join you.

Speedlinking – June 20, 2009

Manifesto for Agile Church Development

While not a software development, I appreciate the agile software development methodology which they use. I recently discovered the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which is:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

I appreciate these principles and believe that they just need a slight reworking to be applicable to the church:

  • People and interactions over processes and tools
  • Effective discipleship over comprehensive programming
  • Leadership collaboration over denominational negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

How do you respond? What would you add, change or delete?

KS West Dreams for the UMC

At the young adult clergy booth at the Kansas West Annual Conference, participants were invited to add a post it note sharing dreams for The United Methodist Church. The responses were (in no particular order):

  • Be Bold
  • to no longer support abortion
  • All means All..
  • Love God. Love people.
  • Relevance
  • To respect & value young clergy
  • AC is all Twitter
  • 1. Prisons close for lack of business; 2. Ignite your ministry where the flame meets the cross; 3. Put your faith to work where the flame meets the cross.
  • Social Revolution!
  • Wow we have met our church budget and it’s only July
  • Our whole church invites our whole town to VBS
  • Economic and Environmental Justice; The church as a prophetic voice.
  • That we would dream More!
  • Relax
  • Transformation of the world through Jesus Christ
  • Recruit young people!