Where the Consecrated Class is now! (Part 1)
Complied by Joey Nunez, a senior from Harrisonburg, Va.
WILMORE, KY—On May 9, 2009, the Consecrated Class of 2009 graduated. The 305-member class departed Asbury’s campus to pursue various summer plans before continuing further education or starting a career in the work force. In the next few updates, we will hear what our Consecrated alumni are up to these days, exciting changes in their lives and their memories from Asbury!
This summer I moved home, started a full-time job, bought a car, got re-involved in my Church and adjusted to life after being a student.
My current job is as an administrative assistant at my church in Albany, N.Y. I am seeing the behind-the-scenes work of a church, and it is quite a learning experience. I am particularly grateful for such a good job in a bad economy. I love the people I work with and I love the opportunity to be involved in the church on a day-to-day basis. I know that although what I do often goes unseen or unnoticed, it has value for the Kingdom of God. I am grateful for that.
My time at Asbury was the best preparation I can imagine for my future. As I look back, I value those four years more than I ever could have dreamed possible. It was at Asbury that I found the Lord, in great intimacy, and surrendered fully to Him. I was challenged to think critically about my faith and about the world. It was where my world exploded and I was challenged in my heart for missions and for the world. Dorm life taught me how to have relationships that count for eternity and how to deal with conflict in a healthy and God-honoring way. My classes taught me how to think critically and made learning come alive. Thanks to the great professors that gave me a love of learning, I have become a life-long learner. Asbury prepared me intellectually, spiritually, relationally and in every way. I am eternally grateful!
One of the dearest memories to me is the small revival we had my freshmen year. What a way to start my four years! It was there that God really got a hold of my heart in a new and deeper way, and it set the tone for the rest of the four years. What an amazing and life-altering experience it was, to be in His presence in such a real and palpable way for those few days. It was beautiful! I miss Asbury greatly and am forever grateful for how God met me there.
This summer I gathered furniture and other essentials for my new apartment. I moved on August 31 to Fairborn, Ohio, just outside of Dayton, and I am working for the Air Force Materiel Command HQ on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
I am an Operations Research Analyst and basically our division works on various Analysis projects throughout the Air Force. I am currently in the Supply Chain Division, where we focus most of our work on making sure that bases and depots have the correct levels of replacement parts for the airplanes and weapon systems. The work is really interesting, and although it has been quite a learning process (between all the acronyms and the many levels of officers), I love learning everything new and knowing that our work is helping to not only save the Air Force money, but to keep the mission running as well.
I have recently gotten involved in a church in the area that is running into some tough times. I am really seeing how God has brought me to the church to help out with all of the gifts He has given me. I have already become a member and have been nominated to two committees. My time at Asbury was truly invaluable for helping this church through a tough time. There were so many wonderful memories at Asbury, but the spontaneous revival that broke out our freshman year was my favorite. It was just such a wonderful time where everyone was feeling God moving. There was so much excitement and energy on campus and love for God and each other.
This summer I hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail with my roommate, Erica Henry ’09, and her father. It was amazing. The Smokey Mountains are some of the most beautiful mountains out there! A few weeks later I got married to my best friend and honeymooned in Washington State. We spent time hiking in the mountains, among a temperate rain forest and along some beaches. I spent the rest of my summer wallpapering the area around Wadsworth, Ohio with applications to teach music in schools. The rest of my time was put into studying music, fixing up the apartment and some pursuits in the world of art.
My desire to be a student is still strong. I visited Akron University and met with the head of the Master's of Music Theory department. He said he would recommend me right away. All I had to do was apply. I even set a long term goal of getting a doctorate in Music Theory Pedagogy.
My time at Asbury taught me how to wait patiently and let God craft my mind and intentions. My favorite activities are tutoring music theory and sight singing, and student teaching in the high school music theory class. That is a pretty good indication of where my life passions and talents are. I have been taking time to study these areas in greater detail. I look forward to possibly designing a new music theory curriculum for the high school level. A couple of weeks ago I got to help a friend of mine, a choir director, with his women’s choir. It looks like I might be taking his place as director of the church choir. God has found ways of filling my life with the things I love to do.
My most memorable time at Asbury is that week of crazy snow we had in February. Erica and I had a week’s vacation from student teaching and went hiking almost each of those days. We walked a route that usually took us 45 minutes. Because the ice was so slick the route took us a little over 2 hours! I still look on that week with fondness. And after the walk, we absolutely HAD to warm up with hot chocolate. I do miss being in school, yet, I look forward to where God will lead me next.
Over the summer, I worked my seventh year as a lifeguard, trying to make some money while I waited for October to come around!
I am currently in Sacramento, Calif.! I am a few weeks into my 10-month service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a residential, team-based program for 18-24 year-olds where we travel around the country in teams of 10-12 doing service projects called “spikes.” We work in the areas of disaster relief, education and environmental. I am currently in training until November 15, when my team and I will be “deployed” for six to eight weeks to any location within the NCCC Pacific Region (Calif., Wash., Ore., Mont., Wyo., Idaho, Utah, Nev., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa). We will live and serve in the community where we are sent and hope to make a real difference by getting things done!
I absolutely love it so far. I have already been certified by the Red Cross in Disaster Relief, CPR, and First Aid, and I am now certified to drive government vehicles. We were just placed on our permanent work teams, and I am a proud team member of Silver 7. We have uniforms, physical training at 5:30 a.m. (thanks to Gary and Dorothy Kempf for making me get up for swim practice that early!), and cook all our meals for our teams. It has been so fun, and everyone is really nice and easy to get to know.
I think my time at Asbury really prepared me for what I am now facing. Though everyone is passionate about disaster relief, people as passionate about their faith are few and far between. I strongly believe that God took four years to strengthen my faith at Asbury to really anchor my beliefs and relationship with Christ before I moved on into the secular world of AmeriCorps NCCC. I feel prepared to stand and defend my faith against adversity and apathy.
I also feel that Asbury prepared me socially. The campus here in Sacramento has about 300 Corps Members, which is about the size of the Consecrated Class! I feel like being the Consecrated Secretary taught me how to remember things about people in the class, which has benefited me here in remembering people I’ve met. I am much more comfortable making friends after my time at Asbury than I would have been out of high school.
My degree from Asbury has equipped me to be able to relate to people better and to carry on intelligent, informed conversation and to discuss things intellectually, which can really open up the door for more in-depth conversations later, including conversations about Christianity. I have a ripe, exciting mission field in front of me here among the people I work with and for. I cannot wait until God shows me what He has for me next. I loved being an Asbury swimmer, Consecrated Class Secretary and an English and history double major. My four years at Asbury are something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I actually got married the week after graduation. Jodi and I got hitched May 16! We spent the summer trying to find jobs, but it was mostly me looking, because I felt I should look for a position as musical worship pastor in a church somewhere. Jodi and I spent a few weeks at her parents visiting, then moved to my house in Connecticut for the summer while I worked with my dad. The work gave us some income while in transition. I had a couple of job interviews with churches. As God worked it out, I got offered the position of full-time contemporary worship leader at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Waxhaw, N.C. (bethlehemchurchonline.org). I love my job! I have been leading musical worship for over 10 years, so it is something I could do full-time.
The most excited thing going on right now, aside from my job, is my EP that I will be releasing sometime late November or early December. I have put a lot of time, effort and especially money into the product, but I am planning on using it as a professional-quality resource in building my music career as a singer/songwriter. I am very excited about it, and I want others to check it out so they can be excited about it, too! It should be on iTunes under “The Shane Tracy Project” in about a month.
My time at Asbury really grew my concept of musical worship leading. Dr. Mark Schell’s classes on musical worship really matured me in my view of worship and leading it. God had me in those classes for a reason (Music in Worship and Evangelism & Church Music 2). His curriculum, along with the amazing books we read, played an active role in opening my eyes to another side of musical worship leading, which is teaching. Teaching a congregation about musical worship can really help us all understand better and enhance our heart's offering to God. I can't emphasize enough how important those classes were in my spiritual formation as a musical worship leader. I was also involved with WGM's musical worship team, which was a blast and a great growing experience.
Stay tuned for more updates and stories from other members of the Class of 2009. If you are a member of the Consecrated Class and would like to send us your update, contact Joey Nunez at firstname.lastname@example.org.