A New Face Around Union

I’ve been onboard at Union Coffee since July 1 and I’m having a great time.  It’s been wonderful to get to know the people of Union – those that worship here, those that meet here, those that just love to drink the coffee here.  This is a rich community.  It’s rich in fellowship.  Rich in energy.  Rich in flavor.  And that’s why I’m here.

I’m a pastor and I’ve been serving as such in the United Methodist Church for the last three years.  I’ve been in ministry in the UMC for much longer than that, though.  In a previous life I led worship at some really fun churches.  I directed the choirs and the bands, even received a Masters of Sacred Music Degree from Perkins School of Theology across the street at SMU.  I met my future wife, Leanne, while I was there at Perkins – we just celebrated seven fun years of marriage.

Things were going great in my worship career until we had our first kid, my son Wesley.  Things were going great in my worship career until I started getting to know young adults that weren’t engaging in the local church – and not by their choice.  A lot of things collided in my life and the life of my family at one time and called us into a different ministry...

A ministry focused towards hearing and uplifting the stories of the younger generations among us, for the sake of the church, but also for the sake of my own kids (we now have two, with our daughter Eloise).  A ministry not simply focused on bringing the gifts and graces of the young people into the church, but for them to be nurtured by those that are mature in the Christian faith.

One thing led to another and I jumped out of worship ministry and into pastoral leadership with young adults and college students AND back into seminary at Perkins for a Masters of Divinity (finished that one up in May).  I’m on track to be ordained as a pastor in the United Methodist Church before too long, in a United Methodist Conference to the west of Union – a conference that is very interested in the Union vision and growing the Union movement.

That brings me to today.  The story of Union has reached well beyond the neighborhood in Dallas it transforms through coffee, community, and cause.  When an opportunity opened up to help Union expand into other communities, I jumped at the chance to come here and be a part of the Union project.  I’m here to learn the Union story, which means listening to the stories of those that are here to work, to worship, and hang out.  And then I’m going to tell those stories to whomever will listen.

Because stories are powerful.  A good story can change someone’s life.  The right story can break boundaries.  Union, through it’s stories,  has already changed the trajectory of the ministry God called me into.  So, if you see me sitting down at Union with a cup of delicious coffee, feel free to interrupt me.  There’s nothing I’m doing that’s more important than listening to your story.

To coffee, community, cause, and a better world,

Jarrod J.