Church Name: Webster Groves UMC
District: Gateway Central
Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.
I have been a United Methodist my whole life. I am currently serving as a non-ordained Assistant Pastor at Webster United Methodist Church in St. Louis, MO. I have served in leadership and service roles for much of my life in Webster United Methodist and Maplewood United Methodist. While serving as an Assistant Pastor I help lead our Young Adult Ministry, our Communications Committee, our Worship Design Team, and Visual/Audio Team, and our new Contemporary Worship Band named "The Spark". Among all those things I directly assist the Senior Pastor, Rev. Kichline in whatever she may need assistance with.
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 am U.S. Marine Corps Reservist, while going through my 13 week bootcamp and the almost seven months of following training after my graduation from bootcamp. My faith was my rock and kept me grounded. Through a life of prayer and worship, I felt my spirit being fulfilled and given strength. My spiritual engagement continues to empower me and give me guidance in all that I do now that I am back in St. Louis. My faith leads me to service in many different ways. In October of 2017 I started my own non-profit Bridge Builders STL that provides exchange programs that focus on leadership and cultural immersion for students all throughout the United States. All this is a result of my faith. The way I act in and throughout my faith is through service for my country, community, and church. It is through a strong life of prayer, worship, and service I develop and strengthen my spiritual journey with God.
Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
I seek the election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference, because one day I seek to be clergy in the United Methodist Church I grew up in. As a 20 year old, I feel that myself and my colleagues have a responsibility to start to step up to share our voices as the next generation of leaders for the church. I feel this is a way I can do this. Through my engagement and voting in the conference, for the future of our Church.
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”?
Through the development of our United Methodist Church, we can decide the best route forward for the continuation of our Church. If I interact directly in our Church, I can better speak as representative for the United Methodist Church and Jesus Christ. It is through this that disciples can be formed. Not just through my actions and words but also in myself. My discipleship can be strengthened and I can spread the spirit I feel through my actions, presence, Rivers, and witness.
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?
I believe that our Church in order to succeed going forward needs to be strengthened and unified. I believe that our next generation of bishops need to be able to bring people together and keep in mind the new generation coming up into the church. Both from a scale of the United States and a international scale.