Last week I posted the message below on my Facebook page, and it will be my last Claire…ification message to the Capital District.
There seems to be a lot of curiosity afloat since I’ve announced my resignation as the Assistant to the District Superintendent of the Capital District of the UMC. I appreciate the Facebook comments, private messages, e-mails, texts, phone calls, offers to take me to Lucky 32 and the Angus Barn and other acts of encouragement. I have been reminded of how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to serve with such an amazing group of clergy and laity for the last 7 1/2 years…
To try to Claire…ify things a bit, here are a few tid-bits:
I resigned from my position because for quite some time it has become increasingly clear that I am being called to serve deeper in ways outside of my job description. In short, I feel a clear sense of call to work towards Diversity and Inclusion in the Community of Faith, AND I feel a strong call in being a Spiritual Companion,
helping people who are discerning God’s call in their lives, and in encouraging spiritually formative practices.
I believe that for us to grow closer to God, it is impossible to do so without growing closer to ALL of God’s people. I feel called to find ways to grow closer to God by returning to the ancient practices of the early church, and by embracing opportunities to work towards God’s Beloved Community.
I want to work with individuals and churches who are truly interested in being a part of God’s Kingdom on EARTH, as it is in heaven.
So, yes, I resigned from my position as ADS in the Capital District. I did NOT resign from my extra-curricular activities, as time allows, that are life giving for me, including (but not limited to):
-I plan to continue my involvement with the NC Academy for Spiritual Formation and enthusiastically look forward to serving as our Retreat Leader next fall and in the foreseeable years to come.
-I plan to continue my involvement in the creation of the NC Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation
-I plan to enjoy serving as a NC Delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference – wholeheartedly embracing opportunities to elect Bishops open to ALL of God’s children
-I plan to continue helping to plan and lead Crossroads Retreats in the NC Conference of the UMC. (A dear friend from another conference who has been working for justice for decades told me that she had almost lost hope in the UMC, but the NC Conference’s Crossroads Retreat had given her hope for the future!) That’s what I’m talking about!
-I plan to continue to serve as a Guest Leader for New Consecration Sunday in our connection. I have been able to serve 3-4 churches per year in this way, but have had to turn away many churches due to time constraints.
-I plan to continue to serve on the Conference Congregation Support Team to help churches in times of crisis.
-I plan to continue convening the Capital District Racial Healing Team, because this is important work and these are a few of my people.
-I plan to make myself more available to serve as a Conflict Transformation Minister. My training with the Lombard Mennonite Peace Institute and Just Peace, and other continuing education opportunities have equipped me to serve in a way that I have not had time to do as often as I’d like.
-I have agreed to another 3-year term serving on the NC Conference Camping & Retreat Ministries Board of Directors, because camping and retreating have been incredibly formative for me and I want to give back.
-I plan to continue to offer my services as a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, helping individuals and groups of people better understand and grow towards their goals of
-I intend to continue my work with NC Inclusion, convening leaders of various groups in eastern North Carolina who are feeling led to working towards full inclusion in the United Methodist Church.
The list grows daily and I have some exciting learning opportunities on the horizon to help equip me to do the work that God is calling me to do.
I am blessed to have a list of strong spiritual companions who are offering me guidance, and as I juggle to wrap up things as neat and tidy as I can in the Capital District, I am spending my free time talking with those who offer me spiritual wisdom.
I covet your prayers during my continued time of discernment as I seek guidance on how, specifically, I am to live into God’s call on my life.
I give thanks to God for all of the opportunities I have had to learn and grow, and more importantly for all of the people I have had the opportunity to be in ministry with, in the past 7 1/2 years as I’ve served in this role.
God is beckoning me. I am trying to be obedient. If God gives you a word I need to hear, I am listening….
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