HIGH POINT, N.C., July 9, 2015 – High Point University senior Thomas Lyons is spending this summer and upcoming academic year discerning a call to become an ordained deacon during a full-time ministry internship with the United Methodist Church.
Lyons, a music performance major from Pompton Plains, New Jersey, is serving alongside church leaders at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church starting this summer. The year-long internship is made possible by a grant from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church to help young adults explore their calling to ministry.
The internship will immerse Lyons in various aspects of local ministry, including leading prayer and other parts of worship services, attending church leadership planning with pastors and visiting with those who are sick or in the hospital. He will also plan and lead a new ministry opportunity at Wesley Memorial.
Lyons says the experience will help him understand where his call to ministry will lead after graduation from HPU. He plans to continue his education in seminary and looks to become an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. He also says he would like to serve others using the skills he’s developed as a music major at HPU, possibly leading a civic choir or teaching music to children.
“Coming to the university has helped me grow spiritually as the person I am through music and religion,” he says. “Those two fields are my passion, and when I combine the two of them, I know I’m on the right path.”
Although his internship started recently, it is already making an impact on him. He attended the annual meeting of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church at Lake Junaluska in June, where he met with alumni and friends of HPU. He is also actively involved in services at Wesley Memorial and shared a special experience he had after leading a prayer.
“After the service ended, a member approached me and asked for a copy of my prayer. The next morning, I received an email from her explaining that the prayer helped her express her heart’s desire to stay strong in her faith. She went on to say the words I had used stirred up an awakening in her – something she had been waiting to hear,” Lyons says. “I was glad to provide that to her and feel blessed that I will get to share with many others over the course of this year.”