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Our student body is not only ethinically diverse, it is also boasts a variety of faith backgrounds.

Joseph Aaron Medearis

Home Address
Chicago, IL (773) 957-5603
jmedearis@go.mccormick.edu

Home Church: Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, FL

Denomination: Presbyterian

Position Desired: Solo, Associate, or Dual with my wife *

Education
M.Div., Theological Seminary, 2012
B.A., University of North Florida, Political Science, 2012

Special Honors, Scholarships, etc.

2011 and 2012 Co-Recipient of the Kay Beckman Scholarship, Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of St. Augustine

Eagle Scout

Member of Pi Sigma Alpha

Graduate of Leadership Jacksonville's CLE

Recipient of the Jefferson Award for Community Service

Student Director of the University of North Florida Honors Program

Special Interests
Pottery

Cook and Baker

HusbandTeaching and preaching

Movie Critic

Tech Guy

Relevant Work History
2010-2012

McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
IT Assistant

2011
McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
Educational Assistant for Film and the Bible; Intro to Christian Theology

2010-2011
Calvary United Protestant Church

Field Ed Student

2008-2009

Chick-Fil-A

Assistant Manager

2007-2008

Jacksonville Jaguars

Foundation Intern

References on Campus
Dr. Anna Case-Winters, acase-winters@mccormick.edu, (773) 947-6321
Dr. Melody Knowles, mknowles@mccormick.edu, (773) 947- 6340
Ms. Barbara Fassett, bfassett@mccormick.edu, (773) 947-6365

References on Campus
Rev. Dudley Elvery, delvery@sbcgloball.net, (708) 710-6041
Rev. Timothy Simpson, tfsimpson@comcast.net, (904) 386- 5366
Rev. Kevin Boyd, kboyd@uchicago.edu, (773) 834-4693

Introductory Statement

In my time at McCormick, I have sharpened many of the skills necessary for Ministry. I have accomplished this, in part, through my experience at my field site Calvary United Protestant Church. During this time, I was able to sharpen my preaching skills. I participated in the Acts 16:5 church revitalization initiative. I planned and executed a Lenten study titled Pottery and Poetry. Also, I was privileged to plan and lead the monthly Vespers Service. This service was a flexible worship experience that varied from services for wholeness and healing to a holiday cookie making service. Calvary was a wonderful church that taught me what it means to be a truly welcoming community. I have never experienced the same type of joy that this congregation lifts up regularly in worship.

Another way that I have been able to prepare myself for ministry is through my unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. I completed this unit at The Church Home at Montgomery Place. The Church Home serves Montgomery Place, which is a multi-level retirement community. In my time at Montgomery Place, I was able to gain significant experience in providing Pastoral Care to Senior Adults. This experience ranged from anxiety about life transitions, to chronic illness, and also to death. I was able to learn a lot from the people that I came to know at Montgomery Place and will always treasure the time that I was able to spend with them.

Through all of my experiences and lessons that I have learned, there is one thing that I can hold up as my greatest lesson - that being a Pastor is relational. It is all about building relationships inside of the congregation and the surrounding community. One of the things that Calvary United Protestant takes pride in is the fact that they are a "front porch church." This means that they are intentional about being active in the community in ways that display their hospitality. In order to be a relational pastor, it is essential to be a member of the covenanting community that is the church. To share in the joys and sorrows of the congregation is a part of this relational leadership. In emphasizing the importance of building relationships, the church can once again become a place that is important in the life of the community.

Being relational is essentially what I have found to be the most important thing to have in a church. In this, one does not only find an idea but also a way to be a community in Christ. It draws us back out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life bringing us into a simpler time when it was normal to bring dinner over to a neighbor who was ill. Building a relational church requires a commitment to caring, listening, laughing, crying, praying, and worshipping together as a community.

In conclusion, I have found that it is important to get out onto the "front porch"! That is the type of Pastor that I envision myself becoming. A Pastor that is able to sit down and have a nice long talk with just about anyone who swings by, welcoming them with a glass of sweet tea and a friendly handshake. Inviting them to sit down for a conversation about whatever is on their mind. I envision being on the front porch in times of prayer, worship, fellowship, celebration, and sorrow. Being on the "front porch" is a whole different type of evangelism. It is an evangelism that displays the love of God alive in the church.

Another way that I have been able to prepare myself for ministry is through my unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. I completed this unit at The Church Home at Montgomery Place. The Church Home serves Montgomery Place, which is a multi-level retirement community. In my time at Montgomery Place, I was able to gain significant experience in providing Pastoral Care to Senior Adults. This experience ranged from anxiety about life transitions, to chronic illness, and also to death. I was able to learn a lot from the people that I came to know at Montgomery Place and will always treasure the time that I was able to spend with them.

Through all of my experiences and lessons that I have learned, there is one thing that I can hold up as my greatest lesson - that being a Pastor is relational. It is all about building relationships inside of the congregation and the surrounding community. One of the things that Calvary United Protestant takes pride in is the fact that they are a "front porch church." This means that they are intentional about being active in the community in ways that display their hospitality. In order to be a relational pastor, it is essential to be a member of the covenanting community that is the church. To share in the joys and sorrows of the congregation is a part of this relational leadership. In emphasizing the importance of building relationships, the church can once again become a place that is important in the life of the community.

 

Being relational is essentially what I have found to be the most important thing to have in a church. In this, one does not only find an idea but also a way to be a community in Christ. It draws us back out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life bringing us into a simpler time when it was normal to bring dinner over to a neighbor who was ill. Building a relational church requires a commitment to caring, listening, laughing, crying, praying, and worshipping together as a community.

 

In conclusion, I have found that it is important to get out onto the "front porch"! That is the type of Pastor that I envision myself becoming. A Pastor that is able to sit down and have a nice long talk with just about anyone who swings by, welcoming them with a glass of sweet tea and a friendly handshake. Inviting them to sit down for a conversation about whatever is on their mind. I envision being on the front porch in times of prayer, worship, fellowship, celebration, and sorrow. Being on the "front porch" is a whole different type of evangelism. It is an evangelism that displays the love of God alive in the church.

Candidates