Rev. V. Yvonne Conner, EdD
Retired UM Church Elder, East Ohio
What’s in a Name: Everything [contributor]… (Grace Publishing)
Cara Stultz Costello
When one is called by God to serve, for some, this manifestation comes like the breath of God hovering over and moving them along as a gentle breeze. A breeze that causes them to move about with purpose and distinction. This is the imagery that comes to mind for me when I think of my interactions with Cara Stultz Costello and her leadership style. Moving with purpose and distinction, especially in her role as our chair of the East Ohio Board of Ministry (BOM), is what I immediately recall.
Case and point about Cara’s leadership, our East Ohio Conference has approval from the United Methodist governing body to be recognized as the Board Of Ministry (BOM) rather than the usual Board Of Ordained Ministry (BOOM). This happened seamlessly because of Cara’s leadership. I was an active member of the Board during that time and witnessed Cara’s idea from germination to implementation. She seemed to be called into a time of discernment when the reality of successful ministry for our Conference required the committed dedication of both the Order of Elders and the Fellowship of Local Pastor.
Not once do I remember experiencing a spirit of divisiveness among Board members as this unprecedented movement for change was underfoot. Showing that Cara’s leadership skills and desire to bring about change were on full display. This wholesome endeavor was a success. Cara achieved it in such a manner that brought increased harmony to our Board. And this accomplishment speaks volumes about Cara’s ability to lead, and to handle sensitive and difficult unscripted situations.
Net of it all. Cara cares about living out ministry in such a way where our rhetoric matches our actions. The manifestation of God’s call on Cara’s life to live and serve gives her a calmness that helps her to be heard and a tenacity that allows her to reach her goals.