By Rick Wolcott*
God’s call is personal, and so is the way we respond to it. Some answer early in their life, while others need more time.
“I’m looking forward to discerning the direction that God wants me to follow because I know he’s calling me to do something, I’m just not sure what that is yet,” said Kristen Buchs of Rocky River UMC (North Coast District).
“This is a continued journey into ministry from a number of programs including the walk to Emmaus, teaching at our church, and being encouraged by others to take this step,” said Gerald Killian from Cuyahoga Falls First UMC (Canal District).
“Answering God’s call has been a discernment, it’s an ongoing discernment, and it is finally moving forward in this process in The United Methodist Church,” said Scott Racut, of New Leaf UMC in Conneaut (Western Reserve District).
He, Buchs, and Killian joined 31 others exploring their call as part of the July Candidacy Summit Retreat at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. The collaborative ministry of the East Ohio Conference and West Ohio Conference is the first step of the discernment journey. During the summit, candidates worshipped and fellowshipped together, gathered in small groups for discussion, attended workshops, and were assigned mentors.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone told those gathered that, “We don’t know what’s around the corner. We don’t know what’s ahead. But one thing we do know is that God’s promise is sure, that he will not leave you nor forsake you, that he will put the words in your mouth, that he will give you the power and the authority and the anointing that you need in order to do what he is calling you to do.”
The next Candidacy Summit is January 4-6, 2018
*Rick Wolcott is director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.