Confirming the call

Well, we had a good meeting of the District Committee on Ordained Ministry today at the Murfreesboro District offices of the United Methodist Church.

This is my second year on DCOM, which is made up of both clergy and lay people. Ministers, or people who are considering getting into the ministry, appear before DCOM at various stages of the process, and we interview them, and make recommendations about whether they should remain at one stage of the process, or move to the next stage, or what have you.

I enjoy the discussion. I’m impressed by the people who have heard the call to ministry, and sometimes asking them about their beliefs, strengths and weaknesses forces me to think harder about what I believe, and why I am a United Methodist. Chris Haynes chairs the committee, and some of the other members are people I know through various lay speaking courses I’ve taken or what have you.

I’ve had to miss more meetings than I’d like during my time on the committee, but the committee is designed to accommodate that — it’s a large body, with the understanding that not everyone will make every meeting. Whatever combination of members is present conducts the interviews. Sometimes, as we did today, we break into teams, and each team is interviewing a different candidate at the same time.

The districts of the Tennessee Annual Conference are being reorganized effective this summer. The conference (which is basically Middle Tennessee) will change from seven districts, each named for a city, to five slightly-larger districts, each named for a river. The district based in Murfreesboro will be the Stones River District and will have somewhat different boundaries. It remains to be seen what the membership of the new district’s DCOM will be — I’d be happy to continue to serve, if only because I feel like I owe the church some meetings after all the ones I’ve had to miss so far, especially during the first quarter of this year. But we’ll wait and see what happens.

Driving home from Murfreesboro was a pain — there was a wreck or some other disruption on Church Street south of the Interstate and it took me 20 minutes to go about a half mile. I had originally toyed with going to the Thai-Lao food fair in Barfield, but instead I just came on home, and I’ve got a turkey breast working in the electric pressure cooker.

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