Blog Posts

Leading from the Launching Pad by Emily Cannon

Transition into Ministry Program


Pastor Emily Cannon served as a TIM Associate Pastor at Saint Paul United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska from 2013-2015. Looking back, I think that I was being called to pastoral ministry long before I started consciously considering it.  There are so many examples from my early years where I demonstrated a passion for Scripture, an eagerness to serve others, and a propensity for asking challenging questions—and in retrospect, I think that these aspects of my personality were “...

Reflection Article by Andrea Beyer

Transition into Ministry Program


Pastor Andrea Beyer served as a TIM Associate Pastor at West Heights United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas from 2013-2015. As I embarked upon my journey into Seminary, I was somewhat conflicted about what I would do once I graduated with my master of divinity. My call to go to seminary was very clear – a direct audible message from God. Despite my years of praying about it, I was not so clear about where my seminary degree should lead me. Through many conversations with others and through ...

Deciding where to serve


One of the great blessings of Annual Conference is the opportunity to see all the many things that God is doing through The United Methodist Church in our state and around the world. We not only hear about vital congregations and how they are doing innovative ministry in various ways, but we hear about our colleges, camps, retirement homes, global missions, ministries with the poor and ministries with children in need. One of my reactions is that I am proud to be a United Methodist Christian. ...

Death Comes Knocking by Wendy Mohler-Seib

Transition into Ministry Program


Pastor Wendy Mohler-Seib served as a TIM Associate Pastor at Chapel Hill Fellowship United Methodist Church; Wichita, KS from 2012-2014.  Seminary prepared me to identify the four steps of practical theology, thoroughly exegete a passage for sermon preparation,use Lowry’s loop, ancient perspectives on theodicy, and much, much more.  It wasn’t the classroom or field education that prepared me to face 13 funerals in the first nine months of my first appointment.  Instead, my walk through the ...

Deepening spiritual disciplines through devotions


I have a deep sympathy with individuals who find it hard to practice spiritual disciplines. For many years, I could not find the right pattern for regular prayer and Bible Study. Like many pastors, I studied the scriptures for professional reasons: preparing sermons, leading Bible study and teaching classes. But what did I do to nourish my own relationship with Christ? Over the years, leading Disciple Bible Study helped me. That required weekly preparation, and I moved to, at least, doing all of...

A Pastor's Silence and a Pastor's Words by Austin Rivera

Transition into Ministry Program


Pastor Austin Rivera served as a TIM Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church, Emporia, KS from 2012-2014. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Ancient Christianity program of Yale’s Religious Studies Department.   When Ambrose of Milan set out to write on the virtues to be cultivated by a pastor, the first he hit upon was silence. Had he written a treatise on the difficulties of the pastoral office he could well have given silence pride of place there as well and named the chief ...

Welcoming Strangers


Hebrews 13:2 is clear: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” This verse—along with Leviticus 19:33-34 and Matthew 25:38-40—are the bedrock that should inform our hearts and minds about how our churches, our communities, our states and our nation should respond to newcomers in our midst. For many years now, our country has been engaged in a debate about how to handle immigrants who live and work in our country without...

Why we must continue to Imagine No Malaria


The following was written Dec. 12, 2012, in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. I have been to the meetings. I have read the brochures. I have watched the videos. I have heard impassioned speakers talk about the scourge of this disease. Intellectually I knew what I needed to know. I have been part of the Kansas West, Kansas East and Nebraska Conferences as they committed to raising money for Imagine No Malaria. I have given money personally. I have announced that I will shoot 1,000 free throws on Feb. 23 to ...

Being witnesses for Christ


One way to describe the Christian’s life of discipleship is to take seriously Jesus’s words to his disciples in Acts 1:8. He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In 2008, the General Conference changed the membership vows of the United Methodist Church, adding the word, “witness.” Professing members are asked, “As members of this congregation, will you ...

More Young People


Dr. Lovett Weems has taught many leaders of The United Methodist Church a phrase that is being repeated widely: we need more people, more young people, and more diverse people. I agree. The average age of a United Methodist layperson is more than 57. The average age of people in the United States is in the lower 30s. There is clearly a problem here. If our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and if the population around us is younger than we are and we are not reaching them, we are not...

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