by Phil Bergey, interim lead pastor at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church My work as an executive coach and process consultant requires me to travel around the country as I work […]
Responding to my call … for my daughter
by Tami Good, Souderton
I have always had a sense of what it means to be called into service. My parents and grandparents modeled for me the importance of living out our faith through seeking God’s purpose for our lives. As my grandfather always said, “You don’t come to church to warm the benches.” Through his example and others I came to understand that walking with Christ is lived out daily as one shares her gifts with those around her. We are all ministers of the gospel as we build relationships and reach out as Christ’s hands and feet.
Teaching the whole story
by Joyce Hunsberger, Salford
Some of you older folks may remember the days before cell phones. When I was in college and wanted to talk to my parents, I put my finger in the dial (no buttons to push…) at “O” for operator and actually heard a real live voice ask “May I help you?” I would say “person to person collect call to Geraldine Willcox.” My mother had the option of accepting or refusing the call. I am glad to say that she always accepted her daughter’s call. Have I answered the right calls throughout my life?
What I spent all my life becoming
by Josh Meyer
Born into a family with a rich spiritual heritage, I quite literally grew up in the Church. I was dedicated as an infant at a Baptist church. A few years later my mom was offered a job as the Director of Christian Education at a Lutheran church in the area. We worshiped and participated fully in the life of that church for most of my adolescent years. As I matured in my faith and grew in my relationship with Jesus, I began exploring other faith communities and ultimately attended a non-denominational and then a Brethren in Christ church during my high school years. While in college I attended a more charismatic Vineyard church, and upon graduation joined the pastoral staff at a United Methodist Church.
I’m grateful for this diverse religious background, particularly because it has taught me one of life and ministry’s most important truths: it’s about Jesus. Whether it’s a Baptist, Lutheran, non-denominational, Vineyard, United Methodist, or Anabaptist church, what ultimately matters is the death and resurrection of Jesus. I’ve been influenced by a number of different theological traditions, but most importantly, I’ve been influenced by the person and work of Christ. It’s this influence, this relationship, that drives and sustains me, that gives me life and hope and meaning and purpose, and that I’m pursuing with everything I have and all that I am.
The other side of loss
by KrisAnne Swartley, Doylestown
Pastors’ children tend to have two reputations: rebellion or following in the footsteps of their parents (never mind all the kids in between). From the time I was young, I fell into the latter category, strongly drawn to my father’s calling and work. My connection to God was real and tangible to me, very much alive in my interior world. I followed that inner leading readily, preaching my first sermon as a teenager and studying ministry in college.
As a fresh college graduate, with all the energy and optimism that implies, I began my first professional ministry position. And I made mistakes. I began to wonder if I had heard God’s call correctly. Were my weaknesses too obvious? Was I too passionate? Too opinionated? Too feminine or not feminine enough?
On World Domination and Global Espionage
by Derek Cooper, Deep Run East
Growing up in the piney woods and ranch-covered hills of East Texas, I deliberated between two potential careers: world domination, that is to say, being a politicking lawyer, and global espionage, perhaps serving as a CIA officer who worked covertly in some ivy-covered medieval castle in Ghent or Prague.
Now snugly in my thirties, it turns out that I have yet to find a way to control the world. Nor have I yet traveled to Ghent or Prague. Instead, my days are comprised of changing dirty diapers on the youngest of my three children, who laughs mockingly every time I mention that toilets are all the rage; leading and participating in a continual cycle of meetings; having lunch at very German-sounding restaurants with local pastors; teaching and counseling seminary students; and writing Christian books whenever I can snatch the time. When I get home after a busy day of work, my wife and I talk about our day and then I play dolls with my two girls. Almost every night, instead of chasing down international gun-smugglers in a black-and-white tuxedo, I run after my son until I fall down from premature middle-age or until I trip over a Barbie Doll who is taking a joyride on a miniature camouflaged jeep.
A Combined Call
by Kirby King, Minister of Adult Formation at Souderton Mennonite Church
To speak about call in my life for church work requires that I speak about my call to teach at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School as well as my call to become a licensed leader of Adult formation at Souderton Mennonite Church. Both calls are so inter-twined that I cannot separate them.
The deep affirmation of God
John Stoltzfus, Campus Youth Minister, Christopher Dock Mennonite High School My call to ministry did not happen in one place or time but pursued me from my childhood in Morgantown […]
Family, nature, and service
Sheryl (Hurst) Duerksen, Principal, Quakertown Christian School I grew up on my family farm in Bowmansville, Pa. Through my parents and extended family, I learned the language of love. For an […]
God’s “acolyte” in youth ministry
by Scott Franciscus, Covenant Community From an early age, church has played an important part in my life. Growing up in the Episcopal Church, which followed a consistent liturgy, and […]
Hound of heaven in hot pursuit
Verle Brubaker, Swamp, email@example.com I fled Him down the nights and down the days I fled Him down the arches of the years I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways Of […]
God’s call from the Andes Mountains
Ubaldo Rodriguez, New Hope Fellowship Baltimore, firstname.lastname@example.org I am glad that the Lord called me when I was a teenager. I believe nowadays that listening to God’s call is hard because […]
A month of ordinations marks God’s calling pastoral leaders
by Noah Kolb, Plains Three ordinations in 30 days—this is probably the most ordinations Franconia Conference has ever had in one month! These ordinations bear witness to God’s Spirit at […]