Ok, here's the last round, all together since they are short. Thanks for reading!
c) The Practice of Ministry:
4) Are you willing to minister with all persons without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, social status, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic condition, or disabilities?
Yes! Indeed, I covet the opportunities to be in ministries to all of God’s creation. To me, the church can not be the true church if there are person who we exclude from our life together. I hope to see our communities of faith become more diverse, to see the body of Christ be a body that breaks down barriers between people. I will gladly share in my responsibility to work toward this end, and to minister to all.
5) Will you regard all pastoral conversations of a confessional nature as a trust between the person concerned and God?
Yes. I understand that in some circumstances, information I receive must be shared (i.e. in cases of suspected child abuse). I believe that it is important to be clear in communicating with parishioners and others that their conversations are private and protected, in order for them to feel more comfortable in sharing their true feelings and concerns in counseling settings.
6) Provide evidence of experience in peace and justice ministries.
In my congregation, we talk – in worship, in Bible studies, etc. – about what it means for peace and justice ministries to go hand in hand. We talk about how true peace can’t come about without justice for those who are oppressed, for whom justice has been denied.
Peace, ironically, seems to be such a dangerous and loaded word. Say you work for peace, and people want to know what party and what platform you are supporting. In the church, we are called to work for the peace of Christ, peace with justice, peace that God promises God’s people.
In my local congregation this fall, peace is one of the foci for our fall ministries. As I am writing this, we are preparing to celebrate “Peace Sunday” in honor of the second annual International Day of Peace. At the conference level, where I am part of the Church and Society team, I most recently coordinated the worship resources for Peace with Justice Sunday for local churches. I have been active with peace and justice ministries at the general church level in my work on the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), our advocacy body in the UMC. GBCS is involved with many justice ministries. My particular focus on the board is in the Economic and Environmental Justice Work Area, and I love my work there.