Debbie Blue Nominated to Head New CMJ Ministry

Post a Comment » Written on March 11th, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (March 11, 2007) – Debbie Blue has been selected as the candidate for the position of executive minister of the newly formed Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

That decision was announced today during the closing session of the Executive Board meeting in Chicago, which began Friday and concluded late Sunday afternoon. Blue shared her faith journey with Executive Board members during the devotional time Sunday morning – they later unanimously approved her nomination. To read a more detailed account of her story as shared this morning, please see ” Painful Journey.”

BlueBlue, who currently serves as director of adult ministries in the Department of Christian Formation, will begin her new duties September 1, if elected during the June Covenant Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.

“I am deeply pleased with the nomination of Debbie Blue to lead this new Department of Compassion, Mercy, and Justice,” said President Glenn Palmberg of her selection. “Debbie has excellent qualifications for this role. Her pastoral experience, her role as director of adult education, and her significant part in the creation and use of the Invitation to Racial Righteousness will all be important in this new work.  Debbie has a wise and understanding pastor’s heart and will be a good leader of people, as well as an administrator.”

Following completion of seminary, Blue received the call to serve as associate director of consulting and training in the Department of Christian Education and Discipleship (now Christian Formation) in 1996, under the leadership of Evelyn Johnson. When Doreen Olson assumed leadership of the department, Blue moved to her present position.

In her current role, she serves local Covenant churches through development of print resources, facilitating retreats and workshops for adult spiritual formation and leader development, consulting in areas of adult ministries and spiritual formation, and in  developing, coordinating, and training facilitators for the racial righteousness efforts on behalf of the denomination. She also serves as an adjunct professor at North Park Theological Seminary, where she teaches adult ministries/adult formation classes.

Prior to the call to denominational ministries, Blue served for 17 years as a volunteer in various ministries in the local church, including youth, young adult and Christian education ministries.

Blue received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Arts Degree in Christian Education from North Park Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing a certificate in spiritual direction through the Center for Spiritual Direction at the seminary, hoping to complete this program in August.

“There is something that I have thought of in processing the call that is very significant for me,” Blue said in describing how she reached the decision to accept the nomination for this new position.

“Earlier this year in my travels, I stayed in a friend’s home,” she recalled. “On her wall was this plaque given to her by a friend that read: ‘Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see’ (author unknown). How profoundly true this is for me as well!

“From the wisdom figures of my grandmother, mother and father, to include my siblings, children and grandchildren, extended family and my African American community, my faith journey has been replete with sacred/soul friends and mentors, instructors and classmates, pastors and colleagues, and a host of sisters and brothers in the many local churches that I’ve visited over these past 10 years. They have all been used by God to help shape and prepare me for this call.”

Recalling the words of one of her college professors during her discerning process, she says, “He consistently reminded the class that spiritual formation doesn’t happen in isolation. We need the community. So for me, this is unquestionably a communal call, and not something of my own doing.”

She was commissioned by the Covenant in 1998 and was ordained to specialized ministry in 2003. She is the mother of three adult children and five grandchildren, and is a member of Community Covenant Church in Calumet Park, a suburb of Chicago.

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