In October of 2019, I was officially accepted as a member in discernment in the United Church of Christ. I want to work explicitly in empowering girls and women in the church and society. I had hoped to finish my required coursework, etc. in 2020. My summer CPE was cancelled so I am using the summer to prepare in other ways.
In December 2019, I concluded my service of 26 years as executive director of a faith-based direct service ministry. I guided more than a dozen churches and multiple community entities to work together collaboratively in programming, capital improvements, and community engagement. It is a model of compassionate, hospitality-driven, guest–focused material assistance. Several other neighborhood-based coalitions of churches were modeled after it to serve their respective communities. I was able to lead and inspire staff, volunteers, donors and community partners because I showed and shared my conviction and passion to be present to our vulnerable neighbors. I helped educate and equip people and infused our pantry, meal and shelter programs with the principles that 1) healthy food is a right and 2) a spirit of welcoming hospitality is a biblical mandate. I drew inspiration from the principle attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: preach the gospel at all times, use words when necessary.
As I am approaching my sixties, I need to be true to my authentic self and to follow the calling God has continued to lay on my heart and mind. I need to be part of a church that at a micro and macro-level affirms my gifts and call and is an authentic prophetic voice in our world. I look forward to discovering, discerning, and, God-willing, receiving further confirmation that my calling to ministry will be even more fully realized within the UCC family. I want to live out my remaining life in an active, engaged and meaningful way.
During this time of discernment, I am participating in ecumenical and interfaith advocacy and service: 1) UCC association rep to the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition (MARCC) of Cincinnati, 2) Cincinnati Festival of Faiths steering committee, and 3) community dinner (think weekly soup kitchen.) All settings have naturally been impacted by COVID. I continue to serve the respective organizations as they prescribe / request in our current reality. I also recently accepted a position for a one year term on the Cincinnati League of Women Voters.
I am a proud mother of four adult children (two of whom are back home in light of COVID.)
I’ve attached my journey statement for acceptance in the UCC ordination process in October 2019.