I Am United Methodist: Barry Doyle
Barry Doyle: ‘Living life to the fullest'
Barry Doyle – videographer and social media specialist for the Desert Southwest Conference – grew up Roman Catholic.
Then he met his future wife, Kathryn, and her pastor, the Rev. Jennifer Lower, from the Arizona State University United Methodist Campus Ministry. "I felt a general warmth and spiritual renewal as we consulted with Jennifer about getting married," he recalls. "A year later, Jennifer presided over our wedding, and I took a new turn in my faith journey as a United Methodist."
His adopted denomination offers him a new sense of spiritual freedom, Doyle says. He especially appreciates "the dedication United Methodists carry to bring aid to the sick, poor, hungry and those in regions devastated by natural disasters. From local efforts within mere miles of the church walls to all corners of the world, United Methodists tirelessly reach out, demonstrating pure love to those in need and in keeping with our mission – to make disciples of Jesus Christ to bring about transformation of our world."
Doyle first worked professionally as a middle-school career technology teacher.
"I absolutely love teaching," he says. However, as financial resources in the public schools dwindled, he "felt a strong pull to using my talents and abilities for God's work." His pastor told him about a position in the conference office. "I applied, was granted an interview and here I am!
"I am blessed to work with an incredibly resourceful and talented group of people, both in communications and the conference as a whole," Doyle adds. "The accomplishments I see every day by these extraordinary people never cease to amaze me!"
Reaching out with Christ's love
Cross in the Desert United Methodist Church in Phoenix plays a huge rule in Doyle's life. He plays guitar in the praise band for the weekly contemporary service, works with youth and assists with photography.
A guitarist since age 12, Doyle says he has "been fortunate enough to write music, record and perform with some exceptionally talented people throughout the years, eventually landing a record contract." He spent a week with the band U2 during their U.S. Joshua Tree tour.
Recently, the Doyle family traveled to the Czech Republic and connected with Cross in the Desert's sister church in Litomerice, Czech Republic. "We had a wonderful visit," he says, "seeing the new kindergarten our missions committee helped to build. Joining our brothers and sisters in Christ halfway around the globe was an experience I will not soon forget."
Quiet space valued
To Doyle, finding a peaceful place to connect with God is a challenge.
"Our minds are so full of chatter from information overload in this electronic age," he says. "I found a way to overcome this by riding through our beautiful Arizona mountain landscapes on my bike, far away from the reaches of technology – besides the iPhone in my pocket!"
Doyle's family is his rock.
"I am blessed with my beautiful, smart and lovingly supportive wife," he says. "Kathy, a psychologist, works at the Veterans Administration hospital in Phoenix. We have an amazing 13-year-old daughter, Faith, who is the light of my life and a constant sidekick!
"The greatest thing about parenthood," Doyle continues, "is to see life through my child's eyes. It keeps me eternally young. My wife will tell you she ‘has two kids at home.' I may hold the responsibilities of an adult, but I refuse to give up the ‘kid stuff' from electronic toys to performing some ridiculously risky stunts on my bike.
"As long as my body will allow it, I choose to live life to its fullest!"
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, associate editor, Interpreter, and general church content editor, United Methodist Communications