Tracy Jones

Church Name: Keystone

Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.

My formative years in the church were in the Oklahoma Conference. My leadership and personal ministry began by singing solos in church at the age of eight. In high school I served as the president of UMYF for two years. As a young adult I volunteered with the youth group, taught Sunday School and continued ministering through music. For two years I served as the worship leader for a newly formed contemporary service in Kansas City. Recently, I have led study groups including Disciple Bible Study. Outside of the United Methodist Church I have experience in event planning, teaching improv and organizing large groups of volunteers. I worked with a team of 13 employees of IBM from 10 countries who served in a pro bono consulting capacity in Indonesia for four weeks. As part of my work as a program manager I have lead teams ranging from 6-40 people. Currently, I am serving a two-year term as leader of Midland United Methodist Cursillo, a three-day weekend focused on Christian leadership.

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 participate in several small groups at church and continue to express my personal ministry and faith through singing with the worship band. I practice several forms of prayers, depending on where my spirit is, including prayer beads, breath prayer, lectio devina and walking labyrinths. In the past two years I have begun prayer journaling...illustrating scripture as a way of praying through the verses. I have found this to be a creative outlet to express how God is speaking to me and what I am being taught through the Holy Spirit. Typically, I am in the process of reading a book that focuses on faith development through the personal stories and experiences of others.

Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?

I attended General Conference 2019 as a volunteer. While parts of the experience were painful I would not have wanted to be anywhere else that week because I am passionate about how our denomination can find a way to work together and move forward. I had friends both serve as volunteers and serve as part of the Missouri delegation. I saw the heart and soul of the hard work each of them put into their assignments to represent our Conference. Having been an observer and hearing the proceedings on the floor has led me to believe I would be a strong representative to General Conference 2020. I am well spoken, an active listener and a focused analytical thinker. I believe these are highly needed traits I would bring to the delegation.

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 strongly believe that we are called to meet people where they are and to love them just as they are and to let God do the rest. As I express myself through compassion, listening and loving I am being a vessel for Christ. I pray that living through love shows others the hope and grace that are already there for them through the saving power of Jesus Christ. I want to live this message out leading up to, in preparation for and during General Conference. It is obvious we are a divided church, but I still believe the Holy Spirit can work in and through us. At General Conference, in all of our debates and decision making, we need to keep the mission of the United Methodist Church at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. We must allow ourselves to continually be transformed so that God can use us to transform the world.

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?

Bishops need to be willing to listen to all beliefs and opinions within their Conference, even when they personally have differing viewpoints. They must be leaders and offer their lives as examples both in showing and receiving grace. In order for the church to live out our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world the Bishops must also be living out that mission. They must have a passion for God and God’s people. They must possess a conviction for leading our denomination through the times ahead of us that have the possibility of being divisive and tenuous. They must be willing to submit themselves to God’s will and put God’s work in front of their own ambitions and desires.