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paving the way

I got to eat dinner tonight with Mary Ann Moman who works for the Division of Ordained Ministry and GBHEM here in Nashville. We had great conversation with Meg Lassiat and my new friends, April, Theresa & Eddie.

We were sharing about the job hazards of people not believing we're old enough to be pastors. One 27 year old female pastor wasn't allowed into the hospital to visit a church member because they couldn't believe she was a pastor. Mary Ann shared that her experience was everyone giving her a double take because they couldn't believe she was a female pastor.

A couple minutes later, I leaned over and put my hand on her arm and said, "Thank you for all you did so that people don't ask us that question."

It was a great moment for me to be able to personally thank someone who made that easier for me. Now I'm humbled to be a part of making it easier for the next generation to become pastors.

Tomorrow we're meeting to create a presentation for the new chairpersons of Board of Ordained Ministry groups from around the country. We'll be interpreting the frustrations and hope for working with young clergy.

Some of our focus questions:

What keeps people serving in the denomination?

What excites you about the future of ministry in our church?

How can we continue to support and nurture young adults through the candidacy and ordination process?

What are concerns that boards of ministry need to hear and be able to respond to?

What are tangible ideas that we can send boards away with as they consider working with young adults entering ordained ministry?

Comments

Anonymous said…
My first year in ministry I was 25, and, at one point for a few months, visibly pregnant. Every time I went to the hospital, I was automatically directed to the maternity floor.

That's when I bought a clerical collar.

Another time, I was on my way out to dinner, wearing boot cut jeans, a tight shirt, and a leather jacket, but got a call that a congregant was in crisis in the psych ward (lockdown). The woman behind the desk literally said "yeah right" when I said I was his pastor. Security escorted me to the floor (fully prepared to do what if I proved to be lying?), and let me in only after my congregant said "oh hi, pastor!"

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