Exhibiting a spiritual foundation
Loving God, following Jesus Christ, and being guided by the Holy Spirit; living a life of discipleship.
Throughout my spiritual journey God's love has sustained me and motivated me even when there was no visible path for me fully to answer my call. I was born in Mexico, Missouri in September 1990. Mexico was the only town with a hospital near the six churches that my parents were serving. Through my life with my parents and my family I have been able to experience all angles of ministry and to come to understand the humble and loving presence that clergy share with their congregations and communities.
As a child of the church I am able to reflect back on many specific moments in which I felt the spirit of God at work through me. In elementary school I participated in many Bible studies with adults in the church. One day while my Dad was leading the study someone came by the church in urgent need of pastoral care. My Dad stepped away and needed someone to lead the rest of the study.
Someone jokingly suggested I lead since I was the pastor’s son, even though I was so young. It was the last session of our study and we were to offer a prayer for each participant. I stepped up as invited and led a prayer for each person. I sensed the Holy Spirit was providing me the words. After we were finished I sensed that the adults in the class no longer treated me as a child, but recognized that I had spiritual gifts and a distinct call.
Since this moment I have sensed the Holy Spirit at work in me and through me in times of prayer, especially in communal and congregational prayer at times in which there was uncertainty of how we as the people of God move forward.
Since this moment I have discovered an affinity for so many of the ways we share faith together and have developed many skills for ministry. Each time I study the lectionary for a lesson or for a sermon I am moved by the way the scriptures are guiding me in inspiring, consoling, and challenging all those who will participate.
Exhibiting a commitment to lifelong spiritual development and faithful personal stewardship.
My Husband Ashton and I
My parents Gary and Jodi, two clergy in the UMC
The first time I met Andrew was when he was introduced to Desert Palm UCC as our youth minister. I was struck by his dynamism, enthusiasm, humor, intelligence, and love of God. Andrew has lived up to that first impression. He’s a natural pastor and a very good human being!
Ellen Colangelo, Ph.D.
Chair of Andrew's Local Church MID Committee
Singing in a choir in Brazil
The Brazilian choir we sang with in Brazil visiting us in Kansas City
Praying actively and nurturing spiritual practices.
Throughout the week I make time for the Holy Spirit to guide my steps through reading scripture, listening to sacred music, and praying for the needs of those in my ministry settings-known and unknown
I make time for God in my little oasis in our backyard where I rejoice at the sounds of the birds and my fountain
Have been a faithful participant in music ministries and choir trips throughout my life
My prayer life motivates me to create opportunities for others to experience God through meditation and prayer and I have created prayer walk programs at multiple churches I have served
My Husband Ashton enjoying our spiritual Sanctuary in our backyard
Community Prayer Walk display I created at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena
Andrew is a character, but more than that, he puts in a lot of work to make every event meaningful and purposeful. In working with him, I know that he has god's kind spirit in him, and some of his strong will when tackling deadlines.
Andrew is considerate, delegates work and makes every moment easy to be yourself and in a respectful professional manner. I'm extremely grateful for having been sent a great friend during my journey at UCI and time with UUMC. I cannot wait to see all the good that comes out of Andrews's ordination.
Founding Student Leader of Methodists on Campus at University of California-Irvine
Being called to ordained ministry by God and the Church.
An aspect of why I am called to pastor in the UCC is our theology, our commitment to justice, but also our understanding of the role of local church pastors. I appreciate that the call system presents an opportunity for a pastor and a congregation to connect so that they can journey together. I respect and celebrate that the local church as a part of their call process identifies key aspects of their vision and then seeks someone to serve as their pastor and help them live out God's call for their shared ministry. Our covenant is collaboration.
There is another aspect to my call to pastoring a local church that is so soulful that I struggle to describe what it means to me. I think the best word for this feeling is shepherding. Just as Christ is the great shepherd, I believe my call is rooted in following that example as I seek to be a nurturer for the families of faith I will hopefully get to serve. I am called to provide pastoral care and support for all the seasons of life.
Sanctuary of Avondale United Methodist Church of Kansas City, my home church growing up
Weekly campus ministry dinner
at the University of California-Irvine
Understanding the power of the Holy Spirit at work through the elements of Christian worship to nurture faith.
I am called to create worship experiences that engage and inspire the generations, to serve the sacraments to all gathered-and as I do knowing about their distinct lives and needs in that moment, to collaborate with church staff and volunteers on impactful faith formation for all ages and stages, and to dream and discern together God's greater vision for us as the church.
I believe worship is where we gather to be together in the Spirit, but also where we share and explore how God is calling each of us as individuals and as a faith community. Furthermore, the fellowship that follows our worship together is where we can encourage each other on our journeys (Continuing discernment of one's call in community).
In ministry since he was a young teenager, Andrew has a clear understanding of and strong commitment to fulfilling God's purpose in his life. With that wisdom is coupled an excellent skillset to mentor and equip others as they, too, discern and follow God's purpose for their lives.
Rev. Mary Scifres
Author and Church Consultant