Dear Glen Mar friends,
This week, several of our high schoolers went to ROCK, a Christian festival and gathering for BWC youth. I heard they loved the speaker and the music, and also the mini-golf too! I don't know if a Polar Bear Plunge was involved. : ). It's got me thinking about how grateful I am for the ways Glen Mar makes disciples of Jesus Christ around here.
Did you know that people who grew up at Glen Mar have gone on to do great work in the church and have discerned their calls here, in Youth Group or Bible Study? I'm one of those people! I wouldn't be a pastor at all without the love and patience of the Glen Mar family, and many, many meetings with Rev. Andy Lunt!
Rev. Alicia Vanisko, Rev. John Nupp, and Pastor Sandi Phillips are others that come immediately to mind, in terms of folks who "grew up here" and went on to serve in this way. Our own Pastor Anna is a commissioned elder in the UMC and is in a 3-year "provisional" time that all commissioned pastors go through, as she prepares for ordination as a "full elder." There are probably many others too, so I apologize for the ones I am forgetting at the moment.
Many of you may know Alex Thomas, who was active at Glen Mar and in our youth group. She is currently at seminary at Duke, and her mom, the amazing Amanda Thomas, is a worship leader at our 5 pm service, a Stephen Minister and on our Leadership Board too. There are many others, I am sure, who have discerned their call here, and we have a couple youth who are currently discerning such a call. I'm grateful for the way that Sean and Jen nurture these gifts in our youth, and help them engage their faith so deeply.
Did you know that everyone is given gifts for some work of ministry, to be used in the church to be a blessing to others? Not all are called to be professional clergy, but all are called to grow and follow and serve. My prayer is that each person will be offering "prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness" at Glen Mar (Give me 5!). My prayer is also that those who might be feeling a tug to pastoral ministry are supported in that sense of call, too. If you need help in discernment around this, please talk to any pastor, or any member of our Staff Parish Relations Committee.
Will you join me in praying for those folks who are discerning a call or who are in the process of ordination? And...I thank God every day for each of you, who make me a better pastor each day. Thanks for your patience back in the day with a Legal Aid lawyer who was weirdly passionate about designing worship services and preaching. I'm grateful to be able to return to you as one of your pastors - maybe I can give you some "return" on your investment.
See you in Church,