Written by Kyle Bomar
When I felt a call into ministry when I was 17 I had no idea what that would look like. For the last 11 years I’ve been continually converted more to God’s gracious “yes” to all of creation and my own heart. Saying yes to this calling has led me into ministry with the United Methodist Church, and it has been a joyful journey into finding a new theological heritage. During my years at Memphis Theological Seminary I have felt my calling expand to have a deep passion for ecumenical and interfaith work. Even though I’ve felt that same divine “yes” to pursue this more inclusive work, I have not always felt camaraderie among my peers. This has led to occasional feelings of isolation and at times even fear of that same call. I say all this because any feelings of isolation or fear were graciously dispersed in the UMEIT workshops at NWCU this year.
I have felt a renewed sense of calling into these exciting, and at times unknown, places. Through conversations with peers and other clergy I was overcome everyday with a continual warmth of Joy. This means of grace in my life is one that I have eagerly shared with others. As a “progressive” Christian, I attend plenty of conferences and conventions, and I have never felt such a blessing of union with others. I called my wife on the first night saying “These are my people! I’ve found them! I feel like I’m among my tribe, and the funny thing is, it’s because these are the tribeless. People so wrapped up in the love of God that it transcends their own denominations boundaries.”
Each day through conversations with the other seminarians, and others I not only felt at home, but also learned a lot to take home and put into practice. One of the most memorable nights was dinner with the scholarship award winners and the UMEIT team. Although I missed sitting with the bishops and hearing more of Danyal’s wiki-links story, I had a wonderful and life giving conversation with the others. Laughing, talking theology and feeling that same sense of Joy marked that night as a unique gift.
I look forward to being involved in the planning of future events, and long to be more involved in any way I can. It was a call affirming and life transforming experience for me that I will not soon forget.
Grace and Peace