Church Name: Caledonia
District: Gateway Regional
Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.
Since joining the church, my involvement in the church has grown, learning our polity, and obtaining Lay Servant certification which led to opportunities to preach numerous times in the two churches in our Charge, and to supply pulpits in other District churches. Other leadership activities: leading small groups, beginning a Grief Support group, a Grief Outreach Ministry. I’ve represented our charge at Annual Conference 3 years, am active in UMW, (Treasurer), am an active member of Ad Council. In my career of 26 years as an RN, I've held formal leadership roles for the last 13, serving as the COO and then Interim CEO for a Federal Health Center, currently serving as the Chief Nursing Officer for a rural hospital overseeing clinical/Compliance and representing the organization at the state and national level. These positions require excellent communication skills and the ability to problem solve, think critically, and to concisely articulate ideas, thoughts, and deliverables.
Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.
Despite not being raised in the church, I’ve known Jesus my whole life. I practice intentionality in many ways. The first is by attending church regularly, and becoming active in serving in the church and outside of it. These practices have given me opportunity to humbly connect with others and share love and faith, which enriches my faith practice deeply. Setting aside time daily for prayer, reading scripture, and meditation grounds me. This practice is further supported by reading books, blogs, and other faith-based mediums regularly to grow in my knowledge and diversity of that knowledge. In addition, participation in Laity classes and seminars assist in my personal growth as a spiritual leader within my church and personal life. These intentional practices have allowed me to better hear God and His guidance and plan for me and my personal ministry and through them I have found the immense value in turning to God daily and often, and not just during those difficult times in life.
Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
The first time I attended the Methodist church, I felt at home--welcomed and embraced and loved in a way that I had never experienced in my life. Since then, immersing myself in learning and understanding Methodism, and the Wesleyan ways it was founded on, has led me to believe wholeheartedly in our mission—the Great Commission-- to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” and to desire strongly that all who seek to are able to also be welcomed and to feel God’s love.
General Conference is an opportunity for Methodists to show the rest of the world that we can agree or disagree in harmony and love. I want to be a part of working toward that end and the compromise that will help us to continue serving God, witnessing to those who don’t yet know Him--putting THAT mission above all else. My unique perspective—that of one who has not grown up in the Methodist denomination, or in the church—is needed and will allow me to relate to other perspectives.
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”?
Having always gravitated to leadership in all areas of my life, others trust me and seek my input often. This may likely be related to very effectively communication skills and the ability to actively listen, consider, and discern all perspectives when approaching any problem. As a member of General Conference 2020, I can use these skills to help our denomination discern what God is calling us toward and help to communicate and to mesh the many unique and different perspectives into one that will keep our focus on making disciples first and always.
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?
Our future episcopal leaders must be steadfast in their faith, first and foremost, and in their dedication to God and the mission of the church. Good leaders embrace diversity and autonomy in those who support them and understand that they, as a leader, are only as good as those who surround them. Future bishops must see the value in growing leaders under them, who will then grow leaders under them, who all grow in different and unique ways, but who keep the focus of the mission to make disciples at the forefront of all work, growth and progress.