Pastor’s Corner: Wren Clanton
Pastor’s Corner: Rev. Wren Clanton
Associate Pastor: Huntsville First United Methodist Church
Who I am:
I’m Rev. Wren Clanton. A thirty-something associate pastor serving at Huntsville First United Methodist Church [HFUMC]. I was born and raised in Talladega, AL and a graduate of Yale Divinity School. I never thought I would become a minister, I started toward my calling as a junior at Huntingdon College believing that it would lead me into full-time counseling. In the end, God pointed me toward pastoral responsibilities and the winding road towards ordination brought me to pastoral leadership in the United Methodist Church. I started the ordination process through my home church, Talladega First United Methodist Church, in 2005 and was ordained an Elder in 2012.
HFUMC is a healthy, growing and vibrant congregation with over 200 years of history. I came on board with the clergy team in 2009 to help start a new worship service- Exalt- and to work in the area of communications. Since then I have also lead in administrative and program ministries. Preaching is a passion of mine along with worship planning, lay leader development, and education.
What motivates me:
Every day in ministry is different. While I keep a fairly steady routine with daily devotion, meetings, sermon writing, and pastoral care, there is never a day that fails to surprise me. I love that about ministry! The fact that I am charged with the shepherding of a congregation still baffles and amazes me. The mere notion that God entrusts the care of the flock into my hands is an awe-inspiring albeit terrifying one. I would be remised if I did not share that I am often stumped for how best to respond to a need or request but never once has God failed to show me a way through. This tangible Holy Spirit-Believer dance that I embody as a pastor keeps me highly engaged in life as a servant leader of the church.
What God is speaking to me right now:
God has led me into many different areas of challenge and growth throughout my years as a pastor. It makes me laugh to look back now and see just how clearly God was aligning things for my good knowing that at the time I could not see and often questioned whether or not it was so. At this season in my life’s journey God is speaking to me about “control issues”.
My husband and I are expecting our first child, due in early December. For both of us this is a completely new adventure that forces us daily and sometimes hourly to recognize that we are not in control.
However, God’s synchronistic timing never fails. I am preaching a sermon series on the book of Romans. The entire text is rife with teachings on justification through faith; faith in God alone. As I feel our son softly kick from within I am reminded that while I cannot see him that he is real, he is alive, he is known in his inner most being by the one who created and sustains him.
What does unity in our city mean to me:
I believe unity in our city means real relationships across cultural, racial, social, and economic divides. If we faithfully respond to the doors that God is constantly opening to us unity is possible. For example, I do not pretend to understand the myriad complexities of the justice and educational systems I do understand that there are many changes afoot for the coming school year and the children, leaders, and parents of this city.
While sentiments vary on these changes, I believe that God is allowing them to be an opportunity for us to meet the challenge of unity head on. Doors are opening up all around our city to allow Christians to be influencers of the kingdom right here and now.
Huntsville Junior High is a perfect example. Thanks to the hard work of their new principle and the incredible support of volunteer organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs there are new and easy platforms for helping making this a smooth and meaningful transition for our city and its children.
I pray, and invite you to pray, for the start of the 2015 school year to be one in which God’s presence is made more tangible to the children, families, and educators of our city. May God’s love, mercy, and grace abound in the hearts of many so that all volunteer needs will be met. May God’s peace surround us all so that anxieties will fall and our hearts might be strangely warmed toward the call on each of our lives to be servant leaders for the kingdom of God.