The Rev. Janet F. Lord, an ordained deacon, has been hired as the first Coordinator of Ministerial Services for the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM). The half-time staff position was authorized by members of the 2013 Annual Conference in response to needs expressed by the board, which submitted the resolution.
“I am excited to build upon the last five years of experience as the Board Registrar,” Lord said. “We hope to be able to bring a degree of consistency to the candidacy process. I look forward to working with our District Committees to continue equipping our Conference with excellent pastoral leadership.
The Rev. Jeff Sterling, current BOOM chairperson, noted that during his nine years on the board, the responsibilities associated with the registrar position have grown increasingly complex.
“The additional requirements in the 2012 Book of Discipline for an Orientation to Ministry Event, a transition to group mentoring for ministerial candidates and the requirement for a Ministry Discernment Coordinator have also added to the work of the Board,” he said.
“By creating this position, we are mirroring what has been done in similar-sized conferences. With a volunteer, just about the time she or he masters the job, that person must rotate off of the board because of the disciplinary term limit of members. “
The Board is charged with recruiting, preparing and credentialing clergy leadership for our churches.
Last January, BOOM enacted a plan to improve the candidacy process and meet new requirements in the 2012 Book of Discipline. It includes using a Discernment Retreat model for inquiring candidates; implementing regional group mentoring for candidates to aid them in meeting educational requirements, psychological testing, and various clearances mandated by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM); and administering and evaluating newly required ministry projects focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
“During my time as registrar I have attempted to streamline the submission process for candidates for provisional, associate and full membership so that most of the work is now sent electronically. I have worked diligently on the Pathways to Ministry program that the Conference purchased to facilitate tracking of our candidates,” Lord said.
“Distribution of the voluminous materials required for our interviews in January and March is now done electronically, greatly reducing our expenses for postage. Through it all I have attempted to maintain open lines of communication with our candidates and have tried to serve as an encouraging presence,” she said.
Lord will remain in her current appointment as deacon working in music ministries at Central Highlands UMC, where she has served part-time since 2007. She also works as Certified Anesthesia and Pain Management Coder with UPMC.
She previously served as the administrative assistant in the former Pittsburgh East District office, as associate pastor/music ministries at Electric Heights UMC, and as director of Nurturing Ministries at Homestead Park UMC.
As the BOOM registrar, Lord has attended several national training sessions offered by GBHEM and have made connections with Ministerial Services directors in other conferences as well as with people within GBHEM.
“We are very pleased that Rev. Lord has accepted this position as our first Coordinator of Ministerial Services,” Sterling stated. “She will set the bar high in this work and will aid the board in its vision to recruit and credential quality, Christ-centered clergy leadership for our churches and agencies.”
Lord too is pleased. “God has gifted me with an unusual and particular set of skills that make this an ideal ministry setting for me,” she said. “The administrative side of me actually enjoys bringing order to chaos and the Deacon's heart in me finds fulfillment in shepherding candidates through a sometimes daunting procedural maze."