New provisional elders Andy Nelms and Adam Shahan took turns May 28 at Annual Conference telling about their ministry journeys. The two expect to graduate this month from Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.
Their presentation on behalf of the seminary is excerpted here.
Thank you for your willingness to support the reimagining of theological education in the South Central Jurisdiction by providing your dollars, your members called to set-aside and specialized church ministry, and your prayers for your United Methodist seminary in Oklahoma, Saint Paul School of Theology.
[We] come before you this afternoon with a simple message: "Thank you for the opportunity to be homegrown."
What does homegrown mean? It means:
- two infants could be baptized in their local United Methodist churches, and those infants would grow and develop in their local children’s ministries and youth groups;
- these youth would attend Conference camps and hear, respond to, and nurture their calls into ordained ministry;
- those youth would graduate high school and attend the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University;
- those students would graduate from OCU and enroll in Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University;
- while at Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University, they would serve as full-time licensed local pastors in the local church; and
- those students at Saint Paul would be allowed to stand in front of you today, both soon to graduate from seminary and to be commissioned this evening.
For this opportunity, we say, "Thank you." Thank you for the opportunity to attend seminary in Oklahoma.
Thank you for the opportunity to put our education into practice at Moore-First (Rev. Shahan) and at OKC-Nichols Hills (Rev. Nelms).
Thank you for the opportunity to attend seminary alongside many friends and colleagues, whom we will serve alongside the rest of our lives in the local church.
Simply put, thank you for the opportunity to be homegrown.
As [we] come to the end of our seminary career, we say thank you to the Conference into which we were born, the Conference that nourished us, the Conference that has educated us, and the Conference that we have served and will continue to serve.
Thank you for the gift of your unyielding support of Saint Paul School of Theology.
Thank you for your willingness to engage the connection and nurture homegrown ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For [all] who are feeling the call into ministry or are prayerfully considering higher theological education and training for leadership in the local church, share the availability of theological education in Oklahoma City in the heart of our jurisdiction.
Saint Paul School of Theology is your United Methodist seminary in Oklahoma and the Great Plains, whose graduates are serving country churches, grand houses of worship, [and in] District and Conference administration.
Let us continue to embrace the growth and development of theological education in our area, and continue to cultivate homegrown ministers for the growth of the kingdom of God!
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