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From the Pastor

June 2024

Dear Lighthouse Family:

On May 25, 2024, I was ordained a Deacon in the Global Methodist Church. I will be continuing my studies at seminary to complete my Master of Divinity degree by Christmas 2025. At the annual conference in 2026, probably in July, I will be ordained an Elder. Some of you have asked me about the order of clergy in the Global Methodist Church. I thought you might want to know what is involved in the ordination process.

Within our denomination there is a body known as the Board of Ministry which oversees the qualifications for the clergy. To be ordained as a Deacon I had to complete six specific courses of study. These classes included: Theology, History of the Methodist Movement, Old Testament, New Testament, Preaching, and Doctrine and Polity of the Global Methodist Church. In addition, there was a background check and psychological evaluation. I was interviewed three times; and the recommendation was made to the Board of Ministry that I be ordained.

To become an Elder, I must complete an additional 20 courses. That same coursework will earn me a Master of Divinity. I have completed 36 of the 72 hours required for graduation. I am taking two courses presently for the summer term and I will take three classes each for fall and winter. Next summer I will take two classes again and then three in the fall.

Another important aspect of ordination is what is called the period of discernment. This is a time in which the candidate examines themselves as to whether the call to ministry was sincerely received. In a large part, you as the congregation, have been my laboratory and my training ground. As I have told you, very strongly, this is where God wants me to be as your pastor. Sometimes the demands of school have delayed or prevented portions of my role as your spiritual leader. At the same time Debbie and I have been dealing with the treatment of my cancer and the effects of same. I thank you for all your prayers and for all  your support and for all your love. As they say: “Back at Ya".

As summer approaches, we will be making external as well as internal improvements to God’s house. I pray these renovations will show an outward sign of the inviting spirit of this church. The Great Commission is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and baptism to all the nations. The Methodist movement is at its core evangelical. We can most effectively invite others to join us by displaying a rich and holy life. By demonstrating what the love of Jesus Christ has done for us perhaps they will see and want to be a part of it. God bless you all as we move forward to carry God’s message to the world.

God Bless,

Pastor Eric and Debbie

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