At a historic Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination service, an all-women class of nine ordinands were ordained to be elders and a deacon. Among them was Mao Vang Her, the first Hmong woman ever to be ordained as an elder in The United Methodist Church. This happened as The United Methodist Church celebrates two denominational anniversaries this year: the 60th anniversary of full clergy rights for women, and the 20th anniversary of the Order of the Deacon. Five others were commissioned, fourteen were licensed as local pastors, and two Ordained Elders were received by transfer from other Methodist denominations. Click here to see photos from the service.

In addition, Bishop Young Jin Cho of the Virginia Episcopal Area delivered an inspiring sermon entitled “I Choose You”. “We did not choose the road; the road chose us,” Bishop Cho said. “If we are called by God, our life is no longer ours, but the Lord’s.” He said this call is an amazing grace that shows the unfathomable love of God. “Do you feel this love in your heart?” he asked. “If you feel deep gratitude for God’s love, you will truly enjoy your ministry.” He said the call to ministry is more than a job or a profession, and that there will be challenges to face, and times when faith will be tested. “If you lose joy, check your heart to see if you still have gratitude for God. Then you will find it again.”

He talked about God’s expectation for ministry, and said that we are called to bear fruit but cannot do it alone. “We can do nothing without God. His word should abide in us. This is not a sophisticated prescription for bearing fruit.” He talked about the importance of prayer because “God is not an abstract idea; he’s real and still alive. In prayer, we will be changed and churches will be transformed. Let us build our ministry on prayer.”

As a gift to those being honored at the service, he offered a challenge: to spend one hour each day in prayer and spiritual discipline. “If you take this challenge, and seriously start practicing spiritual discipline, soon you’ll find a difference in your spiritual life and ministry.” He said that more than 3,400 people in his home Conference have taken this challenge, and though it sounds like an impossible goal, all it comes down to is making God a priority in your daily life. “We are continually working to spread prayer throughout churches,” he said. “I pray all of you grow as men and women whom the Holy Spirit can use as a mighty instrument.”

Below is a list of those licensed, commissioned, and ordained during this service.

Licensed as Local Pastors

  • Richard Andrus
  • Estrella Benitez
  • Dario Hernandez
  • Francis Hewuse
  • Elizabeth Jacob
  • George Kaminski
  • Changki Kim
  • Ho Lee
  • Betty Mulloy
  • Joseph Reynders
  • Lawrence Rieck
  • Angel Rosario
  • Eddie Santiago
  • Vicky Strupp

Commissioned for the work of a Deacon

  • Ellen Maria Williams-Masson

Commissioned for the work of an Elder

  • Jennifer Kay Barnet
  • Willard Jay Jewson
  • Jaesun Kim
  • Eric Allen Taylor

Ordained Deacon

  • Laura Bernard Crosskey

Ordained Elders

  • Vicki G. Brantmeyer
  • Kimberly L. Brumm
  • Min Chea
  • Afi Mariama Dobbins
  • Jayneann McIntosh
  • Mao Vang Her
  • Rebecca Renee Rutter
  • Elizabeth A. Weed

Ordained Elders received by transfer from other Methodist denominations

  • Sun-Joong Kim, from the Korean Methodist Church
  • Clarissa LaFaye Martinelli, from the African Methodist Episcopal Church