Jill Wondel

Church Name: First (Sikeston)

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

As a life-long Methodist, I have had the privilege to serve in a variety of leadership positions, including the blessing of coordinating the Imagine No Malaria campaign, leading mission teams, and most recently as your associate lay leader for the Annual Conference and delegate to the 2016 and 2019 General Conferences. In my personal life, I have enjoyed the chance to serve on the board of a domestic violence shelter and lead a variety of local church activities including Bible Study and prayer and yoga classes.

Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.

There are so many ways that God has graciously reached out to me over the years, but most recently I am enjoying reading the New Testament in a year with our local congregation, personal and group Bible Study, prayer and meditation, and yoga as a tool to calm my mind and prepare my heart to hear God's voice more clearly.

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

I had the privilege of serving as a delegate in 2016 and 2019 and would be honored to serve in that capacity again. I believe the United Methodist Church has a unique perspective to offer the world and I want to do whatever I can to help people know Jesus through our witness as Methodists.

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”?

My prayer is that my leadership as a delegate would point people to Jesus, would in some way hold space for God to work within our denomination, and would, by using my influence in the wider United Methodist Church, help promote unity throughout the world. My experiences as a pastor's wife, a leader in worldwide mission, and a leader within the Missouri Conference enables me to bring together people of different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. I believe that together we can change the world for the better.

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 qualities we need in any leader are discernment of God's will, a deep faith, and a willingness to humbly point us to Jesus in the midst of a world full of competing priorities.