The Rev. Adam Barlow-Thompson, associate pastor at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, has been ordained an Elder and full member of the annual conference.
“My ordination changes my role with the denomination, but not with our local church,” he said.
On the local level, Barlow-Thompson is passionate about Church Anew – a Sunday evening initiative to reach young adults and people on the fringes.
“We want to reach out to people who can’t make Sunday morning services or don’t feel like they fit in,” he said in an interview in 2011, “to reach people that are un-churched, dechurched and anti-churched.”
Barlow-Thompson sees Red, White and Blue Sunday on July 1 (complete with fireworks) and a citywide pool party at Rock River Rapids on Aug. 5 as additional opportunities for outreach.
“While participating in these events I invite people to find someone they don’t know and introduce themselves,” he said. “Research shows that a first time guest has almost no chance of returning if they do not have a personal interaction with at least one person. So shake a hand, learn a name, and enjoy the great events in the weeks to come.”
Barlow-Thompson’s ordination in May as an elder and full member is the second part of ordination.
The first is commissioning, which involves completing seminary education, an ordination guide book, a written exam, a psychological evaluation and an extensive interview process.
“Commissioning is an affirmation from the church that the candidate for ministry is called by God and ready to serve in a local congregation,” he said. “I was commissioned three years ago.”
The second part of ordination is called membership. The candidate must complete a 12-month class on communication and self efficacy, spend two years working full-time in a church, participate in a clergy covenant group, submit written work and complete another round of interviews.
“Membership is the collegial connection to other clergy in the United Methodist Church,” said Barlow-Thompson. “Our annual conference is the meeting where our denominational business is decided. We are working toward merging Kansas East, West, and Nebraska into one organizational structure under one Bishop, which is a pretty historic effort.”
Be the first to comment on this story.