Church Name: Calhoun
Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.
I have been active in the church since my youth. I was a sub-district president of MYF. I was President of the Kansas City South United Methodist Women, the Dean of School of Christian Mission and have been a Certified Lay Speaker for over 30 years speaking at many churches within the conference. I worked in Corporate America in the communications field for 23 years. In 2006 I became a Certified Lay Minister. I have been the Certified Lay Minister at the Calhoun and Drake’s Chapel United Methodist Church for the past 14 years.
Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.
I have personal Bible study, and go on silent retreat to listen for God. I have completed PLD, PLD Next, and Compass. I also led a Small Church Initiative in Joplin in 2012. In 2010, I was awarded the Harry Denman Laity Evangelism Award from the Foundation for Evangelism of the United Methodist Church and the John Bennett Award for Ministry from the Missouri School of Religion. In March 2017 my book: Can you Just Get Them Through Until Christmas (The Turnaround Story of One lay Minister and Two Small, Rural Churches) was released. This book was my attempt to give hope to small rural churches within our denomination and others. Small rural churches do not have to die.
Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
I offer myself to become a lay delegate for the Missouri Conference because I believe in our church. The Special General Conference of 2019 was one which generated much hurt. I want to be a part of the group working to bring some peace. I am not sure how that looks at the present time. I love our church. I have been a delegate to the past eight previous General Conferences. I have served as an officer of a legislative committee. I served on the Board of Directors of the General Board of Church and Society and the General Commission of the Status and Role of Women. I believe I can offer my knowledge and experience of the General Church, as well as an open mind and a heart ready for the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide me in my study to prepare for General Conference. I pledge to be present for all meetings before during and after General Conference. I will be in prayer for every aspect of the General Conference.
How will your involvement in General Conference 2020 support the church to fulfill the mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”?
I believe Special General Conference 2019 was pretty clear we probably can no longer do fulfill this mission as a United Methodist Church. I pray we can find a way to do as little harm as possible to everyone involved. All divorces do not have to be ugly. We can wish each other well and go about doing what God has called us to do in making disciples for Jesus with our own convictions. I believe General Conference should only have one winner, that being Jesus Christ.
Since the primary focus for Jurisdictional Conference is to elect new bishops, what qualifications do you think the church needs in its future episcopal leaders?
The Missouri Conference has been blessed to have Bishop Robert Farr return to Missouri. He has never wavered his mission; first and foremost, his number one focus is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We need bishops who will continue this vision for the future of our church. We need continued strong spiritual leaders who will stretch us and help us grow as a Conference so that we can be faithful to our mission.