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 Candidate Statement 
  1. A statement of my understanding of Christian vocation in the reformed tradition and how it relates to my sense of call.
        My understanding of Christian vocation in the reformed tradition is that each believer is called by God to perform some kind of ministry.  Each believer is first called by God to salvation then to witness and service.  As a body of Christ, each of us is called to participate in God's work and activity in the world.  This includes caring for all that lives, and being a faithful witness in whatever He calls us to do and wherever He call us to go.
        In Ephesians 4:11-13 and 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 we learn that some are called to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.  Just as the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and calls us to confession as we pray, He (Holy Spirit) puts desires in our hearts, ideas in our minds and calls us to certain service and action.  When we are attuned with God, He will in His own way convict us of the direction He wants us to take for our lives and service to Him.
        My own sense of vocation is the understanding that God has first and foremost called me to Him, to receive salvation in His Son Jesus Christ.  After becoming a Christian, I endeavor to do God's will.  In Christ we have an example, in that Christ did God's will in His life even when it meant death to save mankind.
        I have a very deep conviction in my heart that God has called me into ordained ministry.  This does not mean that I know the plans for the future, but I have the assurance that He will lead me on the journey and make the way clear for me.  Since 1983 when I experienced God's call to serve Him, He has given me many opportunities to serve Him.  I have preached in schools, colleges and churches in Kenya.  I also had an experience of being a lay pastor for five years.  All I know is that I am on a journey that I don't have all the details, but I am not bothered by that.  All I know is that God is leading and He will show me the place just as He did to Abraham.
  2. A statement of personal faith which incorporates an understanding of the reformed tradition.
        I believe in God almighty, the creator of heaven and earth.  It is this one triune God, the Holy God of Israel whom I worship, serve and trust.  Having a personal relationship with God is the most important thing for my life.  This close relationship gives me peace, joy and purpose for living.  This God is mighty, sovereign, all powerful, majestic, holy, wise and just.  He is also compassionate, merciful, forgiving, gracious and loving.
        I believe God created the world, animals, plants and all creation was created by Him and for Him.  He made male and female in His own image and likeness.  He gave them a free will.  God does not force or compel people to obey Him.  Sometimes humankind misuses their freedom by choosing unwisely.  They rebel against God, break His commandments. But instead of condemning us, God shows mercy and compassion on us and with His abundant grace redeems us.
        I believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.  He indwells in all believers and He renews, sustains and guides us.  The Holy Spirit knows our thoughts and deeds and intercedes for us even when we don't know how to pray.  He convicts us of sin and judgment and empowers us to be disciples of Christ.  The Holy Spirit binds us together with all believers in the church (body) of Christ.  This Holy Spirit quickens us to serve God faithfully, protect God's creation, proclaim God's grace and forgiveness and invite others to share in the Good News.  As we walk in God's will, we help to bring about reconciliation, liberate the oppressed, feed the hungry, heal the wounded and help comfort those who need comfort.
     
  3. An analysis of one of the concepts from my faith statement in regard to what it suggests about God, humanity and their interrelationships.
        God created humankind "male and female" in His own image and likeness.  I believe that God created humankind to have a communication that was not there before He created them.  It suggests to me that God wanted a special fellowship with a being who can participate in God's work in the world, a privilege that other creatures don't have.
        Being able to have a fellowship with God means that we can freely and openly respond to God.  I believe we are also expected to live with other human beings with the same delight and freedom and love.  I believe that Jesus Christ is our model. He demonstrated clearly how we are to live and relate to one another.  I believe that human beings are God's agents to preserve and care for the world that God created.  God gave human beings dominion over all things that He created. That is to mean that human beings are to exercise responsibility in the same manner in which God rules, by way of respect, care and wisdom in caring for God's creation.
        God is all powerful and His ways and thoughts are not like our way.  We learn about God from the Scriptures, but we can't claim to understand Him fully.  Mysteries remain and we at times remain in awe and wonder about our creator.  We say that God is the creator, we affirm that God is generous, and His act of creation is an act of grace.
     
  4. A statement of what it means to be a Presbyterian with an indication of how that grows out of participation in the life of a particular church.
        To be a Presbyterian is to believe that the work of God is authoritative in all matters of faith.  Presbyterians believe that salvation is by the grace of God alone.  The written word of God is given preeminence and is expressed in sermons, confessions, hymns, doxologies and in affirmation of faith.
        Being a Presbyterian, you are guided by a constitution.  This constitution and other church policies may change after deemed needed after prayerful and thoughtful deliberations by the church.  The constitution consists of the Book of Order and the Book of Confessions.
        To be a Presbyterian is to live in community with other believers world wide; that is to be ecumenical.  This means we are to work for the human well being in local churches and the church at large.  To be a Presbyterian is to live in unity in diversity.
        The church members are represented by the elected officials.  These officials act on behalf of the church members through church bodies.  These church bodies include the session,  Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly.  When governing bodies meet, there are deliberations made and reports are shared for information of what is happening in the church in general.  
     
  5. A statement of your self-understanding which reflects my personal and cultural background and includes a concern for maintaining spiritual, physical and mental health.
        I grew up in a small village in Kenya, Africa.  I grew up in a family of 15 children.  My father was a polygamist. That means he had two wives.  The basic needs of life like food, clothing and shelter were insufficient during my growing up.  My mother introduced me to Sunday School when I was quite young.  At an age of 13 (in 1976) I committed my life to Christ as my Lord and Savior.  This happened after I observed a very radical change in my elder brother who had gotten saved after he joined high school.
        During my school life, I was a member of athletic teams.  I was a good runner, especially long races like cross country and marathons.
        In my school and college life, I was involved in leadership among Christian youth.  This involvement gave me the opportunity to mature in faith.  It is at such time that I learned how to lead a small group Bible study, how to preach and also observed Christian leadership skills.  The experience I gained has helped me in my ministry even today.
        In a camp meeting in 1983 I experienced God's call for me to be a preacher of the Gospel.  This is a call I have pursued up to date.  My being in seminary is part of preparation for that call to serve Him.
        After my seminary education, I would want to go back to Kenya to serve God in ordained ministry.  I feel I have a call to serve the church as a pastor and also help train more pastors in seminary.  I feel my little effort and service would strengthen the church and help in evangelization in my country and other parts of Africa and the world.  This is the kind of dream and vision I have for my ministry.
        I have been greatly helped in my spiritual growth by the disciplines such as reading and reflecting on the Scriptures, praying, fasting, participating in corporate and private worship and staying focused on God.  I have labored to maintain physical and spiritual health.  I believe physical and spiritual health are crucial to mental health.  There is great value in balancing activities, such as serious study with joyful private worship.
     
  6. A statement of my understanding of the task of ministers of the word and sacrament perform, including an awareness of my specific gift for ministry of the word and sacrament and areas in which growth is needed.
        I believe that ministers are to preach and teach the word of God.  They are also expected to properly administer the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism.  They are to lead the people of God in worship.  The pastor is to work with the session of his particular church and has the responsibility for planning the particular worship service.Through the administration of sacraments, the ministers have the opportunity to educate the congregation into their meaning and to draw members into a meaningful participation in the sacraments as a community of believers, both in a particular church and the universal church.
        Ministers are to provide spiritual leadership and guidance to the members of the congregation placed under their care.  The Bible refers to them as "shepherds of the flocks".  They are to encourage, comfort those in service, visit the sick, encourage the fainthearted, pray with and for the individual members and families.  They are to preserve unity within the congregation.  They are to be guided by the church's constitution, the Book of Confessions and the Book of Order.  These books are good tools for ministry.
        Some of the strengths I have in ministry include the ability to preach a sermon, the gift of faith and trust in God, love and compassion for the people, a deep desire to do God's will and willingness to serve and obey Him.  However, I feel I have not grown enough and I am clearly learning and growing towards maturity.
    Kenya Ministry

    Mars Hill Presbyterian Church
    3385 Mars Hill Road
    Acworth, GA 30101