Bishop Ward and Beth Hood talk about the new Office of Clergy Life, which will support persons from their discernment of the call to ministry until retirement.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Beth, this month, July, you transitioned a bit in title. Beth is now our Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Clergy Life. I love that new title. Can you tell us a bit about your work?
As I’ve thought about this new title and a new time of ministry, I have thought about the words of Ecclesiastes, “To everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” The writer reminds us that we experience different seasons and cycles and transitions in life and this is true for clergy. There are times in which we discern a call to ministry and a time to respond to that call. There is a time to learn and study and grow and prepare ourselves and a time to put into practice what we’ve learned. There is a time to serve and a time to refrain from serving, to take a sabbatical or maybe a personal leave. There is a time to itinerate and move, a time to retire.
The Office of Clergy Life seeks to support clergy in all of these seasons and circumstances of life. So it is that we will attempt to support, encourage, equip, empower both students, seminarians, those who are licensed and ordained. We’ll seek to come alongside individuals in their attempts to be faithful with their gifts and their talents in a particular season of life. But we’ll also resource groups of people – The Board of Ordained Ministry, The Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, the Cabinet and Superintendents, and District Committees. In addition to these individuals and groups, we will seek to honor our churches in a variety of places as we all seek to live out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world as we seek to have healthy congregations and effective leaders in every place.
Thank you Beth for your leadership. May Christ be with us in every way as we move into the future God is giving to us.