"A Dangerous Opportunity to Do Good"
by Kathy Randall Bryant
“You are entering a dangerous opportunity to do good.”
It has been a long road full of meetings, papers, interviews, tears, phone calls, snowy roads, worship services, sermons, bible studies, projects, grammar checks, edits, and late nights. And that has just been in our house. Twenty-eight candidates were ordained Saturday night into full connection with the Western North Carolina Conference and so there were twenty-eight different journeys gathered together and celebrated in worship that night.
My friends and colleagues arrived at the altar in various ways, but each of them knelt and received the gift of a host of bishops and mentors laying hands upon them and affirming their call to life-long ministry. We celebrate the Holy Spirit calling them and going with them as they enter life set apart as they continue in their ministry.
Twenty-eight journeys came together in one story Saturday night, June 20, 2015. Twenty-eight individuals were ushered into the apostolic line, challenged to serve the church, and called to proclaim the faith. May God grant them strength, perseverance, and wisdom as they respond to late night emergencies and moments of grace.
I watched my father lay his hands on my husband as he was ordained, knowing that the work can be long and hard, trusting that God will go with us as we continue on this amazing journey of ministry. Lord willing, I will kneel at that same place in a couple of years, as I continue to respond to the call of God to ordained ministry.
As Christians, we are baptized and called to enter the work of God. Christ commissioned us to go out and make disciples of all the world. As ordained ministers, our elders and deacons are called to partner with the church to seek justice, peace, and freedom for all people. May God indeed give each of them the grace to do this dangerous good work before them.
Kathy is the pastor at Matton's Grove-Richfield and will be moving in July to Williamson's Chapel as an associate pastor.
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.