Is there a call on your life? Weekend event at Epworth designed to help find answers
By GLENN HANNIGAN
Is God calling you into ordained ministry?
If you seek guidance or clarity in answering that critical question, make plans to visit St. Simons Island for a special event, Jan. 11-13, designed to help men and women, 21 and older, to consider God’s call.
In addition to exploring the call to ordained ministry, the weekend event, held at Epworth By The Sea, will help participants learn more about the role of local pastors as well as the various opportunities for lay persons to serve at the local church, district and conference levels.
“This will be a great opportunity for people to get some questions answered,” said Jane Brooks, the director of ministerial services for the North Georgia Conference. “There will be a series of workshops designed to help men and women examine their call to ministry, whether as elders, deacons or lay persons. We want people to realize there are a variety of ways to answer God’s call on your life and to provide a picture of all of the different opportunities.”
Keynote speakers will be Dr. Brent A. Strawn, associate professor of Old Testament at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., resident bishop of the Mississippi Area.
Among the topics covered and sessions offered will be: Orders of
Ministry, Elders and Deacons; Local Pastors and Course of Study; What to Expect in Seminary; Navigating the Ordination Process; Planting New Churches; The Tricky Balance of Church and Family; Ministry as a Missionary; Extension Ministry: Campus Ministry, Chaplaincy, and Counseling; Gathering For Spouses; Ministry as a Layperson; and Young Adults in Ministry.
“We need more young adults heeding the call to ministry and becoming leaders in the UMC,” said Brooks. “In recent years we have seen a lot of interest from second career people in their 30s and 40s, but we have also begun to see younger people answering the call and going to seminary.”
The weekend is sponsored by the North Georgia, South Georgia, Alabama-West Florida, Florida, and South Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church, along with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Registration deadline is Dec. 1. You can register online at: www.ngumc.org/SummonsToMinistry and download a brochure of the event. Rooms are subject to availability. For information about lodging, go to www.epworthbythesea.org. Scholarships are also available. Please contact your local church, pastor or the conference Board of Ordained Ministry for more information.