The pandemic didn’t stop the Board of Ordained Ministry’s Candidacy Advising and Mentoring, Recruitment Encouraging (CARE) Committee from hosting its Candidacy Summit Retreat for those reflecting on pursuing ministry. A virtual event was held Saturday, February 6, with almost 20 people in attendance.
“It was a delight to see so many varied persons considering a future in ministry in our annual conference,” said Mara Bailey, CARE Committee member. “Given all the limitations of a virtual event, I could still feel the Spirit’s presence and know that this was an opportunity for these persons to set aside intentional time to listen more closely to God’s call on their life.”
The day was spent worshiping, building connections with colleagues across the conference, and reflecting on call and learning about ministry in the United Methodist Church.
“We are grateful for the support of those who shared from their experiences through a Ministry Panel composed of persons engaged in various ministry settings, orders, and fellowships,” said CARE Committee member Andrea Severson. “They engaged in reflection about our connectionalism and the value it brings to ministry in the United Methodist Church.”
The panel included Chad Jennings (Board of Ordained Ministry chair), Doug Cue (District Superintendent), Lanette Plambeck (Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence), Ann Trimble-Ray (NW District Lay Leader), Jacqueline Thompson (Elder), Diane Wasson Eberhart (Retired Full Deacon), Jodi Rushing (Associate Member), and Mara Bailey (Elder in Extension Ministry).
Severson added that participants were invited to reflect on their life and call and to begin sharing their story through small group conversations. Time was also given to answering questions about the candidacy process and how participants can connect with needed supports.
“Speaking for myself, I see this event as one way in which we live out our connection as United Methodists,” Severson said. “It highlights the many ways in which we engage in ministry as United Methodists—both laity and clergy—and the varied paths available as we seek to respond to God's call on our lives. As we hear from those serving around the Conference and give participants a chance to get acquainted with each other, we are acknowledging that discernment is not a solitary journey but an opportunity for mutual encouragement in living faithfully as disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world.”