April 2021 News Perspective Online

Student Spotlight: Ally Drummond

Ally Drummond’s favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  The verse captures the sense of calling which ultimately brought her to Perkins, where she’s now a second year M.Div. student.

“Micah 6:8 brought to light my desire to combine my passion for faith with my passion for social justice,” she said. “The more I focused on this verse, the more I realized that was my calling.”

And it’s no coincidence, she adds, that one of her summer internships while an undergraduate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City was a program called Micah Corps, centered on social justice issues and on bridging the gap between the church and the world. The internship program is part of the Great Plains Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Drummond says she sensed the first stirrings toward ministry as a high school sophomore.

“It started at the bedside of my grandpa in his hospice room,” she said. “That was my first experience of being in a hospice setting and being physically present while someone was dying. It was my first real intimate experience with the dying process. It opened a part of myself and led me to ask more questions.”

Another summer internship during college, serving in a church in congregational care, brought back those memories of her grandfather and solidified her sense of calling.

“I realized I couldn’t think of doing anything else,” she said. “I’m called to ministry for God with God’s people. God has been preparing me for this all along, before I could put the pieces together. Knowing this, I felt a deep indescribable sense of peace – the peace that passes all understanding.”

Once she decided to attend seminary, Drummond began checking out all the major United Methodist graduate schools of theology. Perkins stood out.

“Perkins not only offered an outstanding education, but among all the M.Div. programs, Perkins seemed to have a truly rich community, with people from all different life experiences and all walks of life,” she said. “I knew Perkins would challenge me to grow deeper in my faith and to be in community with students and professors who brought so many diverse backgrounds to the table.”

Today, Drummond is a certified candidate for ordination in the Great Plains Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her studies are focused on practical ministry and practical theology. She completed an internship at Highland Park United Methodist Church, and now plans to return to the Kansas City area for her third-year internship, in congregational care at her home church, Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.

Outside of her academic work, Drummond stays spiritually grounded by working with a spiritual director. She has also enjoyed serving on the Committee on Equity & Access at Perkins.

“It’s a group of staff, professors and students developing procedures to ensure that Perkins truly lives into its mission statement,” she said. “Lately we’ve been focused on how our curriculum can be both equitable and accessible to people of any race, gender, sexuality or with differing abilities – whatever that might look like. We’re looking at the whole experience of what it means to be a Perkins student.”


April 2021 News Perspective Online

Alumni/ae Update April 2021

Promise for Ministry

Two Perkins graduates and one current student are part of the inaugural “Promise for Ministry Leadership” cohort. The program is hosted by Journey Toward Racial Justice, a partnership between the North Texas Conference and the Texas Methodist Foundation. The program aims to enhance the skills of younger ethnic clergy through a series of classes/experiences curated by the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) and taught by some of TMF’s leading teachers and experts. The inaugural class of six scholars includes a current Perkins student, Pastor Rosedanny Ortiz, who serves at Casa Linda UMC; and two alums: the Rev. David Rangel (M.Div. 2017, D. Min. 2020) of Custer Road UMC in Plano and the Rev. Martha Valencia (Master of Church Ministries, 2009; M. Div. 2013) of Elmwood El Buen Samaritano UMC in Dallas.

 A Story of Resilience

The Rev. Ugonna Onuoha (Master of Religious Education, 1998) was recently interviewed for a Texas Methodist Foundation podcast entitled “Story of Resilience – Ugonna’s Story.” In the interview, she shared how her daughter Agnes was diagnosed with lupus in third grade and passed away in 2019 at age 23. This was the first time Onuoha shared the story to a public audience. The podcast series, Reservoirs of Resilience, is inspired by a monograph written by Bishop Janice Huie, and is produced by TMF’s Leadership Ministry. Leadership Ministry connects diverse, high-capacity leaders in conversations and environments that create a network of courage, learning, and innovation in order to help the church lean into its God-appointed mission. Onuoha is a Staff Chaplain at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Listen to the podcast here.

‘Girls, Jesus is calling YOU!’

In a March 3 video message for Women’s History Month, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño (M. Th. 1979) of the California-Nevada Conference shared some of the lessons she has learned about the value of women in helping heal the world and the plan that God has for all of us. Watch video

Dawson Taylor to Deliver Address

The Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, Senior Pastor of Naples United Church of Christ in Naples, Fla., will deliver the commencement address to Lancaster Theological Seminary’s Class of 2021 on May 8 at Church of the Apostles in Lancaster, Pa. After earning an M.T.S. from Perkins in 2006, Taylor left the United Methodist Church after coming out as a gay man. In 2006, he was ordained in the United Church of Christ and served as an associate pastor at the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas. In 2016, he was called to Naples United Church of Christ, one of the 10-largest UCC congregations in the United States. Taylor is the youngest senior pastor to serve the congregation.

Women’s History Event

Three Perkins alumnae and a current student were part of a Q&A hosted by the North Texas Conference website in celebration of Women’s History Month. Six female clergy serving in the conference shared their experiences and paths into ministry. Perkins community members participating were Pastor Rosedanny Ortiz, a current Perkins student and Senior Pastor of Casa Linda UMC; and four alumnae: the Rev. Danielle Kim (M. Div. 2019); Associate Minister of Adult Discipleship, Custer Road United Methodist Church, Plano; the Rev. Joy Anderson (Master of Religious Education, 1970); Associate Pastor, First UMC Richardson; the Rev. Abbey Echols (M. Div. 2018); Associate Pastor, First UMC Sherman; and the Rev. Dr. Sheron Patterson (MTS 1983, MDiv 1989, D.Min. 1996), Senior Pastor at Hamilton Park UMC in Dallas. Read the Q&A here:

Musical Tribute

Recently Billy Crockett produced a moving tribute to the incredible service that nurses have played in our society over the past year.  Crockett, a member of the Executive Board of Meadows School of the Arts, is a very well-known musician and music producer; he appears as second guitarist in the video. His wife, Dodee Crockett (M.T.S. 2003) is a Vice Chair of the Perkins Executive Board. Watch the tribute here: