What church are you serving in at present?
Living Spring Church
Briefly describe your testimony of coming to Christ:
I was an angry person growing up, partly due to my parents’ divorce and partly due to my own dweebi-ness. This was intensified when the church I started attending during the divorce went through a particularly ugly split and it felt as though all of the places I considered safe and at home were, in fact, no such place and held the greatest potential to cause more pain. I went a few years avoiding church but was eventually drawn back in as a volunteer in 5th and 6th grade ministry to earn community service hours. I was invited to youth group, and eventually to winter camp with the high school ministry. It was at this camp that I read a poem (Footprints) and felt God telling me our story together, and that I was never alone, and had I been, I would surely not be here. During my senior year I decided that I wanted to be baptized and become an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The anger is still a present reality but one that is constantly checked and held at bay by God’s continuing presence in my life.
Briefly describe your understanding of God’s calling on your life:
I understand God’s calling upon my life at present, to be a calling to vocational ministry. That is vague, I know, and intentional as I am still discerning the details and waiting upon God’s direction. What I can be specific about is that God has given me a profound love for youth and young adults as well as a gift that allows me to relate with them well; I am passionate about the Church and its history; I am blessed to have several years of camp ministry experience; and God has called me to youth ministry at Living Spring Church for the foreseeable future (which I could not be more overjoyed/contented/affirmed of and in).
How did you come to the Free Methodist Church?
I am a Free Methodist because Kelly Soifer and John Rittenhouse hired me as an intern in 2012 for 10 weeks of the summer, and it was in that internship where I was guided, encouraged, and exhorted by people who obviously cared for me. The Wesleyan theology is sound and encourages an open and loving spirit that I have rarely experienced in churches from other denominations. It is in the Free Methodist Church that I see the poor being served and loved, not out of a sense of obligation, but because that is who we are and what we do as the Church. At every level I have seen, the leadership (and even many of the lay people) communicate a unified understanding of who we are and a unifying vision of where we are going. The Free Methodist Church is diverse because of its commitment to sharing the gospel with the nations and the reality that God’s kingdom is diverse. I am a free Methodist because at all 3 churches I have been in (Santa Barbara, First Free Seattle, and Living Spring), God’s love is shared and evident in the lives of the people who call those churches home.