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: 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

Deacon’s Call: Lisa McGehee

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 Lisa McGehee who is an ordained deacon currently serving as the Associate Minister at Good Shepherd United Methodist in Richmond, Virginia. Here are Lisa’s words: 

The seed for my call was planted before I was born. My maternal grandmother was passionate about serving and caring for others – humans, animals, and creation. It was through her life and the way that my mother was raised that I became an advocate for those without a voice. Granny left a legacy filled with stories of providing for care for children. She opened the family home to her children’s friends giving them a warm meal, clothes to wear and a place to stay.

She cared equally for animals and there are many stories of my grandfather and my mother and her siblings coming into the kitchen to find “the box” that sat beside the wood burning stove. “The box” provided protection for an animal that was born the littlest or one that was injured. She raised it with care until it was ready to leave. Her love for creation was equal to the love she had for people and animals. She was a farmer and a gardener who never seemed to have a challenge for growing plants. I believe it was the care in which she planted the seed and tended the soil. She gave thanks and praise to God for all that she had and deeply desired to share it with others.

Continue reading

Deacon’s Call: Joanna Dietz

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 Joanna Dietz who is an ordained deacon currently serving as  Minister of Mission and Service at Braddock Street United Methodist in Winchester, Virginia. Here are Joanna’s words: 

As a third generation clergy person, I’ve never known life outside the United Methodist Church. But I never thought I’d be called to serve as an ordained minister! I began teaching elementary music right out of college, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However, it seemed that something was missing.

One Sunday, a new program was announced that was designed to help elementary children grow in both personal and social holiness. Every time it was mentioned, I began to feel deeply emotional.

Continue reading

Deacon’s Call: Lyn Harding

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 Lyn Harding who is an ordained deacon currently serving as a hospice chaplain in Richmond, Virginia. Here are Lyn’s words: 

I was baptized as an infant in July of 1962. While I don’t remember my baptism, it was the beginning of my life in Christ and in the church. My parents were regular church-goers when we lived in Northern Virginia, and we participated fully in the life of the church; serving on and leading various committees, singing in the choir, ushering and counting the offering. I was active in the junior high group, Sunday School, and youth choir until we moved to Williamsburg, Virginia in 1976 when I was thirteen years old.

My parents chose to attend the downtown Presbyterian Church which I found boring and uninspiring. I preferred the non-denominational church across town. It was there that I discovered music was not only something I enjoyed listening to, it was the “window to my soul.” I found that when I was singing or listening to music, I felt close to God. Through music, my heart and mind opened to God’s presence.

Continue reading