Annual Conference Registration is Now Open! Click here to learn more

Retirement & Commissioning


On Saturday morning 28 Missouri Conference clergy were recognized for their years of service as they move from active status into retirement.

As a statement from each retiree was read by someone who was to be commissioned, a map of Missouri was projected onto the screens with a Cross and Flame showing were each person had served. Some had many crosses across the state, others had a single Cross and Flame in one location.

Rev. David Bennett presented the focus of the giving this morning: The Center for Social Empowerment and Justice.

The center is being established at Wellspring Church, the Ferguson church in the heart of downtown Ferguson, to offer opportunities for education, enterprise and justice work.

“Ferguson is a word that has gone viral around the world,” he said. “We would be remiss here in Missouri not to take advantage of making this growing ministry go viral.”

The tradition of passing the mantle from one of the retirees to one to be commissioned is modeled on the passing of the mantel from the Prophet Elijah to the younger prophet, Elisah. This conference the mantel was passed from retiring Deacon Don Ehlers to newly commissioned Deacon Winter Hamilton. Rev. Bruce Baxter, chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, introduced the service of commissioning and Rev. Mark Dumas, registrar introduced each candidate, one Deacon and 12 Elders. These persons will serve a period of Resident in Ministry until such time as the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry deems them ready for ordination. This will be a period of not less than two years and not more than 12 years.

Dan Adkinson

To reach perfection is to dream and try again.

Charletter Louise 'Char' Bassett

To those here today who are feeling called to serve in Christ's church, don't resist that call! Christ does sometimes choose those we would consider the least likely to do his work in the world.

Dan Bonner

Our spirits today are expressed in only one word - grateful. To those who sent us, to those who received us, to those who blessed us, we are grateful.

Barry Boulware

At this time in my life I can't help but think of those today who are just beginning their ministry. Memories of those early days and years of ordination, thank God they last a lifetime.

Dianne Cochran

Every day is a blessing that takes us on a great adventure with God. We look forward to the next step in this great adventure that God has made.

Steve Cox

Now the journey has gone longer than it took Moses to get through the wilderness, but I have arrived.

Homer Davidson

I found that God could use anyone, even me. I know God has more planned for us.

Marjean Ehlers

I am thankful we have been a part of the body of Christ, strengthening the United Methodist Church.

Donald Ehlers

Life has been good; Life is good; Life will be good. Thanks be to God.

Sam Fisher

My retirement plans include learning how to fish and dusting off my long dormant golf clubs.

Chester Heyer

God called and I ran; but like Jonah, God followed and I couldn't hide.

Joyce Holley

I thank God for an amazing journey from Missouri to Africa, to the Rio Grande and beyond. The work continues to be a miracle unfolding.

David Howlett

I thank God for the opportunities to serve Christ without knowing what tomorrow would bring. I learned to trust God.

Rodney Krumme

God is patient; He is also persistent. If God calls, answer. You won't regret it.

Elmer McClafflin

Celebrate for me a new challenge in ministry. Celebrate for my family a new community to engage in.

Mark Mildren

One of my proudest experiences is starting the Hispanic congregation in Monet. I pray my efforts have been faithful to God and the United Methodist Church.

Joyce Rush

I am thankful for what God has brought. He still writes my story.

Donald Smith

My goal has been the same: to love and serve the people.

Evelyn Summers

I have always felt that my calling was to serve God by serving those in need, and have done my best to achieve that goal.

Amy Turner

God bless you all as you continue in the work of our Lord and Savior.

Connie Jo Ury

My calling to ministry led me to adventures in faith, family, prayer. I've learned to see Jesus and the working of the Holy Spirit in the people and families I have worked with.

Susan Lee Welborn

God put on my heart the need to bring good leadership to our small churches; they are the backbone of the nation.