Church Name: Asbury (Springfield)
Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.
I was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri, active as a youth in the leadership of Byers Avenue UMC and district youth. While in college I attended Community UMC and helped lead their youth program and was active in leadership. After graduation, my wife, Kathy, and I moved to Springfield, Missouri, and joined Asbury UMC. Over the past 30 years I have chaired the Administrative Board, Trustees, Finance, Staff Parish Relations, served as Lay Leader, Lay Delegate to Annual Conference, and participated in Methodist Men, several Building Committees, Mission Teams, Capital Campaigns, HCI reorganization, and other special assignments. Since my wife is music director , I am also active in the music program of the church including playing bass with our praise band and part of our choir. ASBURY IS MY FAMILY, MY COMMUNITY, MY MISSION AND MY MINISTRY OUTREACH TO OTHERS.
My wife, Kathy, and I just celebrated our 31st anniversary. We have three adopted children (ages 13-18).
Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.
Acknowledgment of God’s presence in my life on a daily basis by looking for those daily reminders of God’s love for me and my love for God. Sometimes it’s a simple moment of stillness, an unexpected view, a conversation with friends, an email or text, a scripture that speaks to that day or even a Facebook meme. I still teach (and learn) with my adult Sunday School class on a weekly basis. I meet with a reunion (accountability) group on a weekly basis. Each day my email is inundated with various scripture, articles, and devotions which I ponder and often share with others.
Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
I feel a call to be part of what I believe will be a transformation of our denomination and want to work towards an outcome that is positive, fair and inclusive for all. My professional experience in advocacy, mediation, trial and issue resolution could be beneficial to the Missouri delegation in a General Conference that could result in constitutional and/or organizational change.
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”?
By advocating for a conference process of doing business that honors Christ, respects legitimate differences in sincere opinions held by others, treats other individuals with respect, and seeks decisions as a result of a Spirit led collaboration rather than “up and down” close votes that define “winners” and “losers”. The world is watching and if we are unable to do business in an honorable and just way, they will have no interest in transformation. To transform the world, we need to adopt resolutions or restructure in a way that trusts the local Churches of our denomination to balance their understanding of Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience with the world around them. My desire is to help us find a way to do so without dissolution that loses the synergy of our connection with each other.
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?
Persons who possess a servant attitude, a proven ability to teach, a willingness to collaborate and seek consensus, an effective communicator, and a willingness to allow the Spirit to lead.