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Baptized for ministry


We asked ... What does it mean to you to hear that as a baptized Christian, you are called to ministry?

You said ...

All baptized Christians, clergy and laity, are called to ministry. We are called to live out our "yes" to God in whatever ways meet our deepest desires and the world's deepest need. Just as we are each unique and beautiful creations, we are each uniquely gifted with spiritual power to live joyous, abundant lives of learning and service. In our relationships with God, others and ourselves, we have continual opportunity to share our "yes."

Barbara A. Dick, Wellspring UMC, Madison, Wis.

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What will you do personally or as a family to keep Christ in Christmas?

What are your thoughts

Being called to ministry as a baptized Christian means "being" a Christian. I am to be Christlike. That means I will live my life dedicated to sharing the good news, preaching and teaching all that Jesus taught. I do so (as) God directs me through the Holy Spirit. The call is universal, and it is incumbent on my surrendered faith to heed any directive from God to serve.

Ted Fine, Delhi (La.) UMC

To be called to the ministry is a special gift from God. I don't know if God was calling before and I wasn't listening or did (God) wait until I was 60 to use me. I know I have been called, and now I am praying to see where God leads me.

Robin Lee, First UMC, Gilbert, Ariz.

By accepting Christ, we acknowledge that we wish to follow him. A part of that following is wishing to participate in a ministry. Whether the ministry is caring for the poor, strengthening the church or developing future leaders, the time and effort are very fulfilling, and it is what we are called to do.

Joe Everidge, Bethel UMC, Stockbridge, Ga.

An honor from God that I am chosen to teach and spread God's love. A responsibility to my fellow Christians and all others to be aware of my gifts and use them well. Discernment to know where and how my ministry is needed. Tolerance to be always a loving friend, not a vengeful judge, "Going placidly amid the noise and haste" to make a difference if it be God's will. In all things, a servant first.

Gordon Hubbell, First UMC, Lincolnton, N.C.

The ministry I am called to is the service I offer to those I often don't know well; the friendship I give to those I do know well, and the love, patience and understanding I try to give to my family.

Elizabeth Mount, Forest Home Chapel UMC, Ithaca, N.Y.

The idea that I've been called to ministry means that I should use my skills in publicity to let members and non-members know what our church is doing and to invite everyone to special events through our local small-town newspaper and Facebook.

Phil Diser, Menomonie (Wis.) UMC

As a baptized Christian, I have been accepted into a church family and I am one of God's children. My ministry can be identified by the lifestyle I exhibit every day, by example, by how I treat others, by the language I use and do not use, by taking time to listen to people without passing judgment, by keeping God in my heart and trying to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

Ken Guilfoyle, First UMC, Oneida, N.Y.

As we are baptized, it goes without saying that we are ministers. That is what Jesus calls us to be. Part of the baptismal covenant is to "proclaim the good news." The act of proclaiming the good news is loving others as we love ourselves – the essence of ministry.

Joyce Winston, First Fox Hill UMC, Hampton, Va.

It means that as Christians, we are all called to be Christ's disciples. To minister to others about the love of Christ and his love for each of us. Simple as that. In Christ, God is love.

Freddie Turner, Tennille UMC, Brundidge, Ala.

I am directed by my Savior to tell the good news by showing the love of God by my actions and thoughts. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is being an active disciple of Jesus Christ.

Joseph P. Hester, Wesley Chapel UMC, Newton, N.C.

Several weeks prior to finishing each issue of Interpreter, we send a question to all readers for whom we have email addresses, asking them to respond with a short answer of 50-75 words. We include most of the responses here and select a few for inclusion in the magazine. We hope you will join the conversation.