The Dakotas Conference is on a journey to create a culture of call for all United Methodists. God calls everyone into ministry, but ministry means more than ordination. "Called: One Word, Many Ways" explores how to listen for God’s voice, discern what you’ve heard, and respond faithfully.
The General Board of Higher Edcucation and Ministry launched the "Called: One Word, Many Ways" campaign to invite everyone to be an integral part of creating a culture of call.
Almost every United Methodist — lay and clergy – can point to a member of the church who inspired and influenced them at some point in their journey, perhaps who even encouraged them to consider a particular vocation or to pursue a gift.
The Office of Leadership Development in the Dakotas Conference resources churches and individuals to explore and create a culture of call. Deb Kjerstad, director of Leadership Development, assists laity and clergy in defining and developing their call.
"Churches and individuals are driving this culture of call through encouraging participation in many areas like: the Elisha project, youth ministry cohort, lay discernment retreats, continuing education workshops, youth ministry events, camping scholarships and more," said Kjerstad.
Kjerstad was recently joined by Bea Stucke, coordinator of ministry operations, in the Office of Leadership Development. Stucke's role has been redefined after the departure of Taya Swanson. She will continue to take the lead in planning Conference events, including Annual Conference, but will also help resource the many efforts in creating a culture of call, particularly working with ministry candidates and the district and conference boards of ministry. Some of Stucke’s previous duties have been shifted to Susan Punt in her new role as Administrative Assistant for Conference Ministries.
"Because of Bea's exemplary work with the cabinet and the Episcopal office, as well as previous experience with Board of Ordained Ministry and clergy candidates prior to Taya coming on board, we were confident this would provide a smooth transition and continuation of momentum in these areas. The responsibilities fit well with her title of Coordinator of Ministry Operations," said Kjerstad.
In 2016-2017 the Office of Leadership Development: Provided opportunities for six Elisha interns. Launched the Samuel Project—a internship for high school students feeling a call to ministry. Completed the first youth ministry cohort of ten churches and launched the second youth ministry cohort that is equipping local congregations with tools and coaching to create vital youth ministry programs. Held discernment retreats or advanced lay servant ministry training for more than 70 people. Celebrated six clergy who were commissioned and five clergy who were ordained. Provided 4,300 hours of coaching and training for clergy.
Click here for information about the resources that are provided by the Office of Leadership Development.