For the past year, I have had the opportunity to develop and produce BT's Neighborhood Podcast with the Office of Spiritual Life at Roberts Wesleyan University. What I have come to learn about podcasting is the ability to have honest and raw conversations with different people and hear personal stories. Storytelling is the oldest tradition of delivering a message. We can see God's grace, power, and faithfulness through the Bible's many individual stories. With BT's Neighborhood, our host, Pastor Gerald Coleman, starts with a theme and a few opening questions for the guest speaker. Then it always evolves into a simple conversation with a friend. In this most recent season, our discussions are guided on "BeComing: When we learn to be with God, who we are will come forth." There are four movements: knowing God, knowing how God designs you, knowing your station, and navigating the unknown.
I enjoy hearing everyone's stories, definitions, and experiences about their vocation or calling. As the producer, it allowed me to see the common themes of the guest speakers and how their individual stories define these questions. In Pastor G's conversations with our speakers, their stories all accumulated toward one central theme — the calling to be a Child of God. Like a child, we are constantly growing, learning, finding new connections, and building bridges with one another. The learning is never done and the wonder of God can never be fully grasped. However, through community we find a home with each other and a place where our callings can prosper.
"Simply put, I understand vocation as a calling. Vocations are all sacred — professional ministry, law enforcement, teaching, homemaking, etc. Each has a higher purpose than financial provision. Whatever we do, we are to do it all for the Glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31),” said Abreana Mattice who graduated from Roberts Wesleyan with a Biblical studies degree in 2021 and is now a current Master of Divinity student at NES and plans on graduating in the spring of 2024.
At Northeastern Seminary, the students are encouraged to explore their calling and ask, "Who is God calling you to be?" Abreana told me, “God has called, equipped, and placed us where we are for a reason. It is in these unique spheres of influence that we can best share his love and light with the world." She also mentioned that her community has helped her achieve and shape the calling she had toward ministry.
"Roberts & Northeastern prepared my soul for the work, not just my mind and hands. At each step along the way, my professors have emphasized the importance of not neglecting the care for our souls and the growth of our walk with God,” said Abreana. Lastly, the community of people in ministry, such as reverends from her childhood, have helped her grow in her pastorship that requires emotional, vocational, and spiritual wisdom. "Listening to the Holy Spirit's whispers has kept me rooted in who He is and whom He says I am. He truly is our Helper and — as my grandmother has always instructed — our Greatest Teacher."
One thing we strive to create with BT's Neighborhood is a community, one that is full of all different backgrounds, educations, and experiences. We believe God calls us to be a community of Christ's followers. This means we come alongside each to share a meal, encourage one another, and grow together in life's journey. As for me, I have found my calling in sharing my gifts to bring a little hope, share the Word of God, and show God's grace to our audience.
Dr. Rebecca Letterman
Dr. Doug Cullum
Dr. Richard Middleton