Dear Glen Mar friends,
I've spent more time on Zoom than usual this week, because this week we had virtual examinations of candidates for ordained ministry in our conference of the United Methodist Church. We ask them about their call, and about theology, and polity and ethics. They talk about God's grace and tell the story of a God who is calling them to serve the church in the role of ordained deacon or elder. Our own Alexandra Thomas (Amanda and Jon's daughter) was approved through this process just today, and she'll be commissioned at our next Annual Conference. Alex did a great job at the exam, and I was especially proud, because she is "one of our own." Alex was active in youth group and especially enjoyed mission trips. She preached at least once on Youth Sunday...and preached for us pretty recently also. To get to have these holy conversations with people of all ages, nations, and races, to hear how God has worked in their lives, is a great part of my job. It is such a reminder of a living God, a resurrected Christ, and a pesky Holy Spirit that blows where it will.
All Christians are called to ministry - the use of their gifts in loving God and neighbor and building up the church. Some are called to the specific work of ordained ministry, as their role in the body of Christ. And it was such a blessing to see how God has brought Alex this far along the way. This is some of what it looks like to "grow disciples" of Jesus Christ. And Alex is not alone. Each of us is called to works of love and service, and we want to help everyone to grow in this way. (There is someone reading this right now, I'll wager, whom God is calling to be a pastor. And if that's you...you have 3 pastors who would love to talk with you more about how to explore that calling).
As Alex's church home, we pray for her, and give thanks for her ministry and gifts. And you have a ministry and gifts as well! Whenever we use our gifts to build up the church, to be a blessing to others, I think God's eyes sparkle.
Join us this weekend online as we continue our Overcome series, where we'll examine how God helps us journey through grief (we'll learn this week from Job and from Jesus too). I hope you'll join us - you're in for a blessing!
See you "online,"