I believe leadership can start early in life or later in life. The many experiences I have had throughout my life have impacted me in finding my way on the journey that can have twists, turns, straightaways and hills. My initial relationship with Christ was built through many loving adults at Nevada UMC and my family. My leadership also began during this time as an officer in our local UMYF and active member in 4-H at the local and state level. I attended Central Methodist College and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. The relational connections I made at CMC created the opportunity for me to continue on my own faith journey at my own pace.
I moved to the “big city”(Kansas City area) and completed my graduate work at the University of Kansas, receiving my Master’s Degree in Social Work. I obtained my clinical license in Kansas and Missouri and currently work with children, adolescents, and families in a therapy setting.
My faith journey continued through church shopping after I moved to the Kansas City area which was a new and interesting experience. After receiving a personal invitation, I landed at North Spring UMC in Blue Springs where I served on staff as youth director. I also had the opportunity to serve in many other ways-coordinating youth and adult mission trips, teaching bible studies, and serving as Administrative Council chair after resigning from my youth director position due to the birth of my son.
Several life changes led me to respond to a request to support a new church start in Eastern Independence. During this two year process, the start team provided leadership in many ways that involved learning times, worship experiences, development of mission and vision, and service opportunities. As the new church start closed, it was a time of transition and renewal so I started attending Woods Chapel UMC. I am currently a member and attend worship in our contemporary service in the Worship Center.
Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to serve within the district and conference. On the conference level, I participated in the early years of Healthy Church Initiative consultation teams and currently serve on the Mission Council and Conference Lay Ministry Team. On the district level, I have been facilitating Lay Leadership Development since the inception and serving on the District Committee of Ordained Ministry. Most recently in 2014, I assumed the role of District Lay Leader for the Heartland District and serve on the District Mission Council.
Amid all this experience is my role as a mom and wife. These experiences of raising a ten year old son and thriving in a loving marriage, along with my professional life experience, provide me with the life experience to identify with families in our community and the seeking of a connection to something bigger.