Church Name: Woods Chapel (Lee's Summit)
Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.
I believe my leadership skills were nurtured while at Central Methodist University but began during my childhood through involvement in 4-H. As a life-long Methodist, I have served in many positions on teams and served on staff at a church as Youth Director. Within the district, I have facilitated trainings, provided coaching to churches, and served as District Lay Leader. My certified lay speaker role has provided me the opportunity to share the message in several churches over the years. I currently serve as Conference Lay Leader for the Missouri Conference, which gives me the opportunity to serve with the Cabinet, Mission Council and conference teams. I participated as a reserve delegate for the Missouri Delegation for GC/JC 2016 and GC 2019. In my professional life, I have been a licensed clinical social worker for 19 years which has provided much experience in interacting with others. In the community, I have served as a mental toughness coach for youth baseball.
Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.
My practices have been developed over time and have grown as my relationship with God has grown. I enjoy learning so seek out opportunities through reading or trainings or podcasts to increase my knowledge but also work to put these learnings into practice. I have a daily devotional life that keeps me grounded with scripture as well as reflection. I use a prayer journal to support my ongoing prayer focus. The prayer journal allows me to reflect on how prayer requests are resolved and how the Spirit has moved me over time. Before making bigger decisions, I invite three friends to pray with me for a period of time. I find that this discernment process has been Spirit led and affirming for me. Ultimately, I would say that as I have moved to being more intentional about my faith development, I have found it easier to share my faith with others, which has deeply impacted my engagement with the Spirit and God.
Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
My interest in serving as a delegate comes from prayerful discernment about how I can contribute to the conversations of the Missouri Delegation as well as the conversations that will occur along the way with individuals, other United Methodists and with other delegates in attendance at GC/JC. With my leadership experiences with the Missouri Conference, I have a clear understanding of our mission, vision and conference priorities. The importance of understanding the work of the local church is vital as legislation is considered. Through my interactions with local churches across the conference, I can offer my voice to these conversations. My spiritual growth in prayer and discernment will support the delegation and my spirit as we prepare for GC/JC 2020. With my professional background, I can offer skills that support listening, healthy communication, organization and time management. I have a willingness to collaborate and work towards solutions.
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”?
Our communities have people that do not know the love of Jesus Christ. Our focus should be on the mission of the church. In serving as a lay delegate, my focus would remain on the mission and moving towards resolutions that support the local church in fulfilling the mission. My prayer is that my actions will demonstrate the mission of the church, as well as demonstrate the instructions we received in the two great commandments-love God and love others.
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 role of episcopal leader is one of great responsibility. Our episcopal leaders should possess skills of discernment, vision, communication, and shepherding. Our episcopal leaders should be able to connect with others and lead. Episcopal leaders should have the ability to surround themselves with effective leaders.