LIVING OUT LOUD
A Christian Discipleship Methodology
[Text: Rodolfo Míguez]
THIS MINISTRY’S FOUNDER
This expression comes from Margarita Smyres of Stockwell: "We were born to
live out loud." So, with this expression began this ministry within the Salto
Methodist Church - on the northern coast of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay
- in the late 1990s.
Her husband Eugene Stockwell, holding it at his side, laid the foundations of
many works and institutions of the Methodist Church in various international
contexts. And it was thanks to the Stockwell’s engaged presence in managing
the Evangelical Institute of Theological Studies (ISEDET, Buenos Aires), that
this higher education facility of theological studies, emblematic for Latin
America, was saved from economic and institutional collapse that it crossed in
the first half of the 1990s. And in the meanwhile Margaret was always at his
side, as his emotional support and containment.
A CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP METHODOLOGY
It is she who teaches that to "live out loud" is not to say first what I think. That
is important, yes, but still very little to connect with our privacy. So no surprise
to hear her say that despite being granddaughter, daughter and wife of
Methodist missionaries from the United States, and being herself missionary,
"in my forties, returning to our country after our service in Uruguay, I came to
understand that I still didn’t truly know Jesus".
It was hard to hear that from someone who was quite a character who had
occupied a prominent place at the level of missionary couples who led a wide
range of projects worldwide, and being then nearly 80 years old. Due to that
strength of who was trained to pass through the walls of guilt, shame and fear
to testify to his tale of pain, this ministry was born in 1998, essentially as a
way to make disciples.
Indeed, living out loud is a methodology for Christian discipleship, which
begins with the teaching that there is nothing stronger in this world than the
love of God, and to make contact with that love and give permission for his
Holy Spirit to transform our lives, we must learn to be present in us.
BEING PRESENT IN OURSELVES IN COMMUNITY
The inner discernment and spiritual gathering, which happen in community,
are teaching keys to ensure that if we say what we think and there ends our
openness and our contribution to building a community, we were wrong. In
that way, little, very little of us are being giving to the others to build
In this sense, we ourselves are blocking the possibility Christ’s Spirit, as a
spark of new life, to turn on the light that generates the miracle that will
change our thinking, in order to change the way we live (Romans 12:2).
A clear example of the vast difference between saying what I think and say
what I feel could be this.
I say: "I think Luis is very smart." And I really think that Luis is very smart and
so I think I'm being transparent, honest and all good adjectives you want to
But how different it all sounds if I dared to take a step further and say what I
feel: "Because of that I feel envious of him". Is not there something substantial
that makes everything different, because this feeling must be worked by the
person in the light of faith, as part of their discipleship?
What you think is important, no doubt. But it will be a simple cover up if you
keep it disconnected from what you feel; it will only be a prepared and neat
speech. Too little to build a community.
HE CAN ALSO DO IT FOR YOU
Much discomfort, much prejudice, much brotherly showdown is cast down
when we live out loud, as its roots become evident, which are never in others
but in ourselves. Hence, living out loud is a healing method that creates
fraternal and firm human bonds, away from trial and asserting it self through
mutual confession (James 5:16). Nothing new for the Methodist movement
which was itself born from intense spiritual work, re-creator of communion, in
the eighteenth century Methodists bands.
COURSES, WORKSHOPS AND SPIRITUAL RETRIETS
While we are discipled in this way, we walk our faith life witnessing in first
hand to everyone else. Thus, we become constant announcers of its grace,
communicators of good news -the gospel- written on our own flesh, being able
to tell anyone who wants to hear: "Jesus can do the same in your life."
In order to extend this methodology, since that initial year, courses,
workshops and weekend retreats have being carried out where solitude,
silence, meditation and fasting frame a strong time of prayer and encounter
with God .
What was freely received is freely given, in that way Living Out Loud is a
honorary ministry, so that this experience is available to all, being sufficient
the personal decision to initiate.
Miguez Rodolfo Fuentes is 52 and is a Priest of the Methodist Church in
Uruguay and is based with his family in Montevideo. Since 1983 develops the
pastoral ministry, first in Buenos Aires (Argentina) as a student of theology -
candidate for the ministry- and then, since 1987, in various cities in Uruguay.
Being a graduate of Bachelor of Theology by ISEDET and Archivist graduated
from the University of the Republic in his country, is now in charge of the
"Tienente Rinaldi" mission (Casavalle neighborhood, on the outskirts of
Montevideo) and is responsible for managing the "Dr. Joseph A. Piquinela"
file, a file central for the Methodist Church in Uruguay.
His training in spiritual exercises began early in 1981, with the Swedish
Lutheran pastor, Sören Bolander.
Rodolfo is the husband of the Pastor Valdense Ana Maria Barolin and they
have two daughters: Ana Rut (BA in Psychology, 25 years old) and Florencia
(Student, culminating a degree in Social Work, 22 years old).