Reflection from Michael Vollbrecht, Pastor of Peace United Church of Christ in Alma, Kansas, and post-graduate intern at Kansas Interfaith Action
When I began my Master of Divinity program at Central in the summer of 2016, I could not have envisioned the many life-changing experiences that have both deepened my calling and helped me to understand my vocation to ministry. At Central, I found faculty that encouraged and supported me, and helped me to discover how ministry can thrive in new ways through uncertain times.
It was at Central where I was first exposed to Justice Ministry Education and to the work of social justice advocacy. I built relationships with organizations such as the Poor People's Campaign, and I attended programs like the "Joining God in Saving the Earth" conference sponsored by the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence, as well as the "Formed for Flourishing" clergy mentorship program. I took classes in leadership and mission that have helped to define who I am as a minister of justice.
I am grateful to the many professors and staff members at Central, and for a seminary that seeks to welcome all people by recognizing the unity in our diversity, which is our shared commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank God for having found a community like Central, and I look forward as a new graduate to leading with the qualities that have been cultivated here – inclusivity, compassion, and stewardship for God’s creation. I am ready to lead!
Update! Michael was ordained on Sunday, August 2, so he is now the Rev. Michael Vollbrecht and even more READY TO LEAD!