Deacon’s Call: Amy Crisp

I have been collecting call stories from colleagues who are serving in diaconal ministries expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners. This week we hear from Rev. Amy Crisp, a deacon serving at Mt. Pisgah UMC in Richmond, Virginia. Here is Amy’s story in her own words:

It was summer 2000. I was fourteen years old and on my first mission trip when I received my call to ministry. I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with church or even much of a relationship with God, but I went on that trip to Mountain T.O.P. because I was excited to spend time with my friends and to nurture my newly developing faith.

Throughout the week, as we served some of the most impoverished people I had seen, sharing our faith together and working alongside one another, something kept tugging at my heart. I couldn’t quite explain it, but I felt like someone was trying to tell me something important about that experience. I spent the better part of the week trying to ignore that feeling, trying to brush it aside, because I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But that tugging, that nudging on my heart just wouldn’t go away.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Deacon’s Call: Barbara Ward

In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  I was happy to meet and know the late Rev. Barbara Ward, who shared her call story. Along with being an ordained deacon and musician, Barbara was a published author. In this post you will hear from Barbara in her own words: 

Standing before the Bishop to be ordained as one of the first Virginia Conference Deacons in Full Connection was, for me, the answer to an impossible dream.

I was just sixteen years old when I received a calling to ministry. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I sat alone in the choir loft of my church, waiting for others to arrive for the Youth Choir Rehearsal. I was gazing idly at the empty church balcony when I was drawn to what looked vaguely like a blue cloud.

Continue reading

Deacon’s Call: Laura Douglass

In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  This post you will hear from Laura Douglass who is an ordained deacon currently serving as  Minister of Music at Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Here are Laura’s words: 

The journey into music ministry began as a child surrounded by a loving Baptist family and lots of hymn singing. My early piano lessons did not bear much fruit until I discovered hymns, and it didn’t take long to figure out that I could delay washing dishes by practicing them immediately after dinner. Before age ten, hymns became a path to the Spirit in the midst of many emotions. I remember praying for my Methodist cousins who “hadn’t seen the light.”

As an undergraduate majoring in music education I concentrated on the piano but also studied voice, strings, and organ. During my final semester, I took lessons with the new organ instructor whose energy and support was to open unimagined doors.

Continue reading

Deacon’s Call: Brenda Laws

In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries – ministries of service – expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  In this post, you will hear from Brenda Laws who is an ordained deacon currently serving as an ID Case Manager for the Eastern Shore Community Service Board on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Her secondary appointment is at Horntown Charge UMC on the Eastern Shore District. Here are Brenda’s words: 

When I saw her on stage with the bishop I heard a voice within my spirit say, “You will be where she is.” Ha Ha, I thought that was a good joke. “I am a 19-year-old single mom and that will never happen,” I thought. That day was at Annual Conference of June 1980 in Richmond. It changed my vocation in life. It changed who I was and it redefined who God was in my life.

I didn’t even know who that lady was on the conference stage, I just know she had set an example for me when she was consecrated a diaconal minister. My new quest in life was to find out about the diaconal ministry.

Continue reading

Deacon’s Call: Heesung Hwang

In 2015 I was collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  In this post, you will hear from Heesung Hwang who was recently ordained as a deacon. Here are Heesung’s words: 

My journey to ministry and theological study started from the conversation with my father when I was at the age of fourteen. He used to give me a ride to my school every morning and we shared lots of stories and thoughts. It was such enjoyable moments for both of us. One day, he talked about what he wanted to do in his life. He said he had wanted to set up an organization in order to help orphans because he also faced and experienced the misery of the Korean War and wanted to do something to improve the society as well as his own life.

However, it just did not happen in his weary life. In that morning, he said, “But I still want to do something for lonely children. Although I cannot afford to build an organization or an orphanage, I am about to start donating a small amount of money every month whether it is 5 dollars or 10 dollars.” Those statements just struck me. I said to my father as I got out of the car, “Dad, I will do it. If you don’t make it happen in your life, I will do it.”

Continue reading

My Call to Ministry Part 2

This was originally published on my blog, jasoncstanley.com.

I started sharing my call story last week. This week, I continue.

College was great! I had excellent professors who were mentors to me. B. J. Seymour, Steve Tuell, and Ira Andrews opened my eyes to the Bible and to the faith way beyond anything Sunday school had ever taught me. They also nurtured my call to ministry. They saw within me something that God was doing that I was still trying to get okay with.

My first semester at Randolph-Macon, the education class I took had us placed in classrooms to observe. We were to also teach one class. I was placed in a 7th-grade civics class. Other than my limited experience in the youth ministry at the time, I didn’t know what to do in a civics class. Give me some marshmallows or a few rolls of toilet paper, and we can play some crazy games. But civics?

Continue reading