Shalom Agtarap serves as one of the PNW Conference office’s new additions…but she’s definitely a familiar face. Get to know her and her work here…
What is your role at PNWUMC?
I serve as the Associate Director of Strategic Faith Community Development which resources current and future innovations in ministry. We’ve already made great strides in shifting the culture from parachute drops to our cohort model (Syndeo) that help us learn from one another and support each other. My job is to make sure our PNW projects are well-resourced and supported.
What are some ministerial career highlights that are memorable and relevant to your work ahead?
Building a campus ministry in Ellensburg was hard work and the fact that it continues today is a testament to the God-sized that the people of that community still nurture. Mentoring people into seminary and formal ministry is a call I believe all ordained persons are invited to invest in. Most recently, my work in Burien of joining community members at the organizing table helped me understand communities of color in a new way and also interface with the school district, city council, and labor unions working in the area.
These three highlights, while rewarding, have filled my toolbox with lessons and effective tools to innovate new United Methodist communities.
Who inspires you?
Children. And not in an “I believe the children are the future” kind of way, but in awe and wonder about human development. It really is how I know God is real. My toddler niece is learning the mechanics of language, fine-tuning her motor skills, and picking up on what rituals are important and how to elicit a joy-filled response from people. How did she know what she didn’t know before? I’m filled with awe and then gratitude for the Creative Source of that knowledge.
How do you fulfill the mission of the Church and your own personal mission as a minister?
The mission of the church, as I understand it, is a collective effort. The body of Christ is a collective. God, in God’s self, is communal relationship. So the best thing I can do is to understand my personal mission as it relates to Christ, and once I understand that, do my part in relationship to the rest of the body of Christ.
Jesus declares his personal mission in Luke 4:18 and I gladly declare it as my own too. To live empowered by the Spirit that is upon me to bring good news to the poor, release to the captive, recovery of sight to the blind and to declare to all, that God’s mercy is here and now; that is gospel. And when I live the gospel, and others live the gospel, we’ll find ourselves closer and closer to the reign of God “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Where are your favorite places to focus and relax?
Compline service at St. Mark’s on Capitol Hill and hiking trails are go-to spaces for me to both focus and relax. The silence in those places is very different yet both hold the space for me to remember that all is holy, all is blessed. I simply need to return to the loving embrace of the Beloved.
What are your favorite foods?
If it comes from a home kitchen, I’ll most likely love it. The great thing about growing up and moving around is discovering new spaces and new cuisines. My father’s pancit malabon, my grandmother’s fried chicken, and my sister’s lumpia, will be always be staples. A recent addition is Mexican mole (from scratch, of course) and pulled pork will make me happy any day.
The Rev. Shalom Agtarap serves as the Associate Director of Strategic Faith Community Development in the PNW Conference’s Office of Connectional Ministries. Photos courtesy of Patrick Scriven, director of Communications, Young People’s Ministries for the PNWUMC.