On Monday evening, June 11th, 1300 delegates of the TN Annual Conference along with family and friends of those licensed, commissioned, and ordained joined together in worship. The Service of Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination has always been one of my favorite worship experiences, whenever I’ve attended Annual Conference. It is an incredible holy moment in the life of the church. During this particular service, men and women who have responded to the call of God to pastoral ministry are prayed over by bishops for the blessing of the Holy Spirit on their work.
For many of the candidates who are licensed, commissioned, or ordained, the service is a major point of transition in their lives. Often the candidates spend years in training, in classrooms, internships, and pastoral appointments as they move through the United Methodist Church’s candidacy process. For me, Monday night’s service was a culminating point of a 13 year response to God’s call (and I’m only 25!)
Where might God be calling you to in your life’s work?
For most of the licensed, commissioned, and ordained pastors, they will go forth to minister in churches from the Tennessee River, to Clarksville, all the way out to Cookeville. A few others will serve God’s work in the world as campus ministers, chaplains, spiritual directors, and teachers. The United Methodist Church calls these areas “extension ministries.” So on Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Tom Gildemeister and many others gave reports on extensions of ministry into the world.
In front of 1300 AC delegates, Tom celebrated Belmont Wesley Fellowship’s first year in ministry at Belmont University. The Annual Conference celebrated Belmont Wesley Fellowship as the newest Methodist campus ministry in middle TN in over 30 years! Thank goodness for a God who continues to create. When the summer months come to a close, Wesley Fellowship will begin its second year caring for and guiding students of Belmont University.
How might you share in the life-changing work of student ministry?
~Rev. Adam Kelchner