Creating the Culture of Calling
The Hannah Initiative is intended to encourage every local church in our annual conference to dedicate and send people into God’s service, like Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel. It is our hope that congregations will focus a culture of calling in such a way that our children, youth, and adults will hear and be encouraged to respond to God’s call.
We challenge each congregation to participate in this program by completing at least six of the following activities before Annual Conference 2016. Those congregations that do complete these requirements should notify Reverend Ashley Jenkins in the Office of Ministerial Services in order to be acknowledged and celebrated at annual conference.
Celebrate a “Calling Sunday”
At least once a year, build a worship service around the call to licensed and ordained ministry.
- Focus your attention on Christian vocation, and how, by virtue of our baptism, God calls each person into service.
- Pastors, share your own call story within the worship service and/or invite others serving in full-time Christian vocations to do the same.
- Invite those who might be discerning a call to talk with you about how God is speaking to them.
- Invite people to consider if God might be calling them to live out their baptism through licensed or ordained ministry.
Focus on Calling in Children’s Ministry
Spend at least one session in your Children’s Ministry (Sunday School or another program) focusing on the theme of calling, including full-time ministry as one possible calling.
Focus on Calling in Youth Ministry
Spend at least one session in your Youth Ministry (Sunday School, UMYF, or another program) focusing on the theme of calling, including full-time ministry as one possible calling.
Youth in Leadership
Create and encourage youth to lead in the local church, and district and conference level events.
Adopt a Seminary Student
Choose a seminary student from your congregation or contact the Office of Ministerial Services to be matched with a student. Adoption activities may include sending greeting cards for birthdays and holidays, care packages during finals, meals, etc. This is meant to be a personal connection between your church and the student.
Give Financially to Support Candidates for Ministry
A bi-annual event held for 18-26 year-olds considering ordained ministry. more
Give a scholarship to a seminary or Course of Study student
- Select a student from your congregation or another congregation if you do not currently have a student.
Pay MEF 100%
The Ministerial Education Fund enables the Church to unify and expand its program and financial support for the recruitment and education of ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands in this area.