Saturday, November 12, 2011


RT : "God is sneaky. God tends to murmur to our hearts." (rather than call in big obvious ways).

This video is titled, "You Sneaky Mom!" When we talked this morning at Exploration about God being sneaky, this is all I can think about.

But in reality, when it comes to our calling, God is sneaky. Sometimes it is by putting us in conversation with someone unexpected. Sometimes it is getting us to an event that we're not sure about but it is life changing.

And sometimes God is most sneaky by leading us gently into what we are called to be and do. I have shared with my small how I was never one to feel scared or try to run away from what God has called for me. God was "sneaky" in the still, small voice that guided me gently but steadily toward vocational ministry.

The paths that we find ourselves on toward ministry are never the same. We have varying reactions to our call to ministry in whatever form that takes. But we are all called.


(This is my post from last night... I don't have internet access in my room, so I post when I can.)

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think that if you were my husband you would disagree. He called me this afternoon to see how my flight was, and I blew him off to talk to someone who had great questions about GCSRW. Telling him I’d call him *right back,* I bid him a good afternoon. Now, it is 11:09 (in St. Louis). Finally calling him back, he answers in a groggy tone. CRAP. I forgot about the time difference. I’ve just disturbed his slumber. But I have so much I want to tell him about today.

I want to tell him that Mark Miller sang one of our favorite songs. “All Are Welcome” has become an instant favorite not only at the church I serve (North Broadway United Methodist Church, a Reconciling Congregation), but also a favorite in our household. I took a video of Mark and the singers performing the chorus and attempted to send it to Garrett, and the video was too large…

I also wanted to tell him that I ran into Andrew, one of the members of my small group in 2007 (who also bought our washer/dryer before we moved). Garrett got to meet him and his fiancĂ©, hear about their journey of faith, and the four of us shared what it was like to be married and in ministry. I tried to text Garrett, but in the lower level of the hotel, I couldn’t get enough signal to send.

I want to share how a woman in my small group has had deep conversations with her husband about the meaning of baptism, and how a man has shared about how he and his wife have had conversations about baptism, children, and in-laws. Another small group member orders her pizza the same way my husband does. I didn’t want to ruin the sacred moments in our small group to reach for my cell phone to text him. I value the sharing that happened and didn’t want to be the one to take us out of the mindset and soul-state that God had called us into.

So many incredible things are already happening at Exploration. I shared with someone today how this is my third Exploration (Florida as a participant, Texas as a recruiter/small group leader, St. Louis as a recruiter/blogger/tweeter/small group leader/agency representative), and how this event holds deep meaning for me. She then said, “I can see how this event has deep meaning for the Church.”
Rev. Hamilton spoke of his hope that of the 600(ish) gathered in the hall for worship, 300 would be called to ordained ministry. He then went on to share that each United Methodist pastor will serve approximately 8 churches (Does my two-point charge count as two? That means I am at three now… see honey, only 5 more churches… 5 more moves… that doesn’t sound too awfully, right?). If the math is correct, that means the ministry of those gathered will touch around 2,400 churches. Do you feel as though that is enough churches to change the trajectory of the United Methodist Church? Rev. Hamilton thinks so. I do, too.

We have each been called to this place not to discern if we are called to ministry, but to discern what our ministry will look like. Each of us was invited to remember our baptism, a calling in and of itself, and dream God-sized dreams for our ministries. Blessings on your dreaming!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Am a Woman

I am a woman
born of God
I am a woman
born of love

I am caring and competent
vulnerable and powerful
seeking wholeness
physically, emotionally, and spiritually

I am a woman
reaching out to others
making a difference in myself
my family
and the world

I am empowering myself
to empower others

I am struggling to accept my anger
and use it to gain strength, confidence,
courage, and intimacy with others

I am a woman
who sees the interconnectedness of all human beings
who values the unique gifts of all

I am a woman who leads and follows
who accepts responsibility for myself
and the choices I make

Yes, I am a woman
who sees each day as a new beginning
a chance to grow in self, love, and service

I am a woman
born of God
I am a woman
born of love
And I can be
All that I am

- Ms Katherine Tyler Scott

This is one of the first prayers in Women's Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated. I have found many of the prayers in the book moving already, and I look forward to praying many more of them.

After church on Sunday a gentleman introduced himself to me. He had been a member of North Broadway United Methodist Church when he was younger. In the years between then and now, he had dabbled in many denominations and faiths, finding space for worship in the Baha'i faith at times. He was visiting his sister, a member of NBUMC, and he spoke to me of how exciting it was for him to come back to his home church and see worship being led by two energetic, called, and capable women. He talked about how he used to be frustrated when he came "home" to find the wall of pastors filled with the pictures of staunch looking men. We chatted about the place of women within not only the United Methodist Church, but in the Church as a whole and in other faiths as well.

As I walked home (so yes, the walk is short because I live across the parking lot) and the time after, I found myself thinking about how I count myself blessed to work with a female senior pastor. She has journeyed in many places that I myself hope to someday journey, and she has the experiences to share with me as we journey in ministry.

I have so many women in ministry to look up to, so I don't want to sound brag-y about just one. God has placed so many remarkable women in my life. I am so thankful that the United Methodist Church is a place that values and recognizes the call of women. I know that there is still work to be done (shout out to my GCSRW sisters and brothers), but on this particularly mundane Tuesday, I am taking a moment to be thankful for Rev. Dr. Stevens and all the other women with whom I am in ministry. I am blessed to count you as colleagues and friends.