Question 3: Who will accompany you? On whom will you rely to accompany you on this journey (besides the Oblate Director and Director of Initial Formation)? What outside resources will help you journey to final oblation?
Before completing this initial application I asked the following people if they would support my decision to work towards oblation and accompany me on the journey. All these agreed to be part of my process:
- My wife, Rev. Jennifer Tillman
- Jhim Neilssen, a friend
- Rev. Tim Purcell, District Superintendent of the Iowa-Minnesota District of the Wesleyan Church
- The members of the Local Board of Administration of Oakdale Wesleyan Church
- Dr. Colleen Derr, Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry and Congregational Formation at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University
The Wesleyan tradition will also accompany me. I have found significant parallels between the Benedictine and Wesleyan traditions. (With the exception of the one point on the differences in the traditions, the linked post was included here as part of my initial application instead of these bullet points.)
- First, both traditions have an emphasis on personal holiness and Christian perfection, in the biblical sense of maturity.
- Second, both traditions also emphasize holiness in action as a social good.
- Third, both traditions emphasize accountability.
- Lastly, both traditions emphasize prayer.
Because of these emphasizes in both traditions, my learning and resources from The Wesleyan Church will also aid my journey. In addition to my own library, as adjunct faculty of Wesley Seminary I have access to the Jackson Library at Indiana Wesleyan University. I have also found many resources regarding the Benedictine tradition and specifically oblation online. Locally, I have already made use of Loome Theological Booksellers to purchase used resources. Use of the Scriptures and reliance on the Holy Spirit will naturally be primary resources.