The Heroine’s Journey, Part 3- Road of Trials: Meeting Ogres and Dragons

This post is the third in what will be a series of ten exploring the kinship between the Heroine’s Journey as established by Maureen Murdock, my lived experience of ministry as a female clergy person, and a few familiar fictional characters. Each devotional will end with a blessing for the Heroine at each stage of the journey. In the previous post, we examined the second part of the journey where the Heroine enters into a process of formation as determined by the external “other” that the Heroine hopes will overwhelm their pesky femininity.


The Heroine’s Journey;

Part Three – Road of Trials: Meeting Ogres and Dragons

Now the Heroine must prove their skills, knowledge, and relationships against the hardships of the world–necessary work in order to develop ego and character. Challengers draw near to keep them from their chosen path. When the Heroine has triumphed over their trials and adversaries, they gain reputation, status, empowerment, and confidence. Alongside their external success, the Heroine believes that they have secured the other to their identity and no longer have to fear being deficient or inferior.


Personal Story

There is one photo of me that best encapsulates this phase of my life, when I was both establishing my family and endeavoring to establish my career. It was taken at a synodical continuing education event that I was attending in order to network, to keep my face out there, and make sure that I wasn’t forgotten or discarded. I was two years into a search for my first call and the ordination that would go with it. Though it is not visible in the photo, I was pregnant with my second child, which meant that I felt gross in my own skin and my back ached. 

I knew I was being photographed that day. I remember being annoyed about it even as it was happening, because I recognized what was unfolding. I recognized it because a classmate from seminary, a person of color, had shared with me when this had happened to him. They were taking photos of me because I was young and female, and they needed more diversity for their website. I was being gobbled up by the insatiable content monster that lurks in so many aspects of modern life. Yet I understood that the photographer had no way to know I was not ensconced in a congregation or some other ministry setting. He was doing his job just as I was doing what needed to be done.  Read more

What The 12 Steps Taught Me About Spirituality


When I was doing my first field education placement at an Episcopal Church in New Jersey, my supervisor required me to attend an AA meeting. He said it was important for me to have this experience as I prepared for ministry. I had heard of AA but had never gone to a meeting before. I found an open meeting, one at which visitors who are not alcoholics are welcome, and my husband went with me. It was a Big Book meeting, where there was a reading from the main book of AA and the speaker commented on it. I felt awkward and out of place. I didn’t glean too much from that experience. 

Several years later I found myself at an Al Anon meeting during one of the most chaotic and scary times of my life. Days earlier my husband had declared matter-of-factly, “I’m an alcoholic.” His anxiety and fear of death during detox had won out over his denial, and he admitted he had a problem. His admission came as a relief. For an entire year, I had myself been in denial, asking close friends, therapists, and spiritual directors how I would be able to tell if he had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. As it turns out, the fact that I was asking that question was itself the answer. Once he admitted it to himself and to me, he could get help. I drove him to the hospital, where he was admitted to a detox unit. During that week I went to my first Al Anon meeting at the recommendation of my therapist. 

Al Anon is a 12-step program for families and friends of alcoholics. Started by the wives of the founders of AA, it utilized the same principles, applying them to the lives of those living with the effects of alcoholism. I found in Al Anon a type of liturgy. There was a form to the meeting, ritualized readings of texts, the sharing of testimonies, and words of encouragement spoken to one another. There was even prayer. Even though I knew I belonged, I very much felt like the newcomer, needing to learn the language of recovery. I had a “qualifier,” a person in my life who was an alcoholic whose presence qualified me to be at that meeting. For the first time I felt like I had words to put to my experience of the past few years: “Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.” Unmanageable. That was how it felt. My life had become unmanageable. I felt like I was going crazy. I was confused. I didn’t know what to do. I was powerless. Those words brought the world around me into focus. I felt understood. I didn’t know what the heck was going on. But someone else did. 

That first meeting gave me words to put to my experience. Over time I would attend other meetings. I would think things had improved, and I would stop attending meetings. I would feel confused and uncertain again and would resume attendance. Finally, a few years later, I committed to the program, deciding that I would go week after week no matter what my husband was up to because the program had become meaningful to me. “In Al Anon we focus on ourselves, not on the problem drinker,” the literature states. The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can be beneficial to anyone, not just to an addict. That is the premise of all the cognate groups of AA for families and friends-of – Al Anon, Nar Anon, Co-Anon, COSLAA, and the list goes on and on. Anyone can benefit from this program, not just someone with “a problem.”

Today I find a wealth of wisdom in Al Anon that I can easily apply to my life, to my ministry as a chaplain and priest associate, and to my spiritual life: the concept of powerlessness, that it is not something to be avoided or shunned, but recognized and embraced. The need to trust in God, as step 2 indicates (“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”). The need to take time to take a moral inventory of myself (step 4), which includes my failings and my strengths. When was the last time I did anything resembling a confession of my sins that named actual sins and failings that are unique to me? My own religious tradition, which includes private confession, does not have an easy-to-access mechanism for this. Al Anon also gives me a way to connect regularly with others, to hear their stories of pain and growth (called “experience, strength, and hope” in program language) and to share my own story. Each week we hear a speaker share for ten minutes. Then each person attending has an opportunity to share for three minutes on anything they want. The group has guidelines to prevent crosstalk, dominance, and talking about religion and other programs; but the format is quite open, and folks are willing to hear each other’s pain, confusion, and difficulties as well as joy, growth, and hope.

Attending AA as a seminarian was something I’m glad my supervisor had me do. But having become a member of Al Anon, I can see so much more than what I originally gleaned from that single meeting I attended as a visitor. I was too caught up in the newness of the experience. I was too self-conscious to take it in. And although I’ve enjoyed books such as Richard Rohr’s take on the 12 steps and spirituality (Breathing Under Water), my greatest learning has been as a member. I think that’s because the program is for people to work on their own spirituality. The more I’ve grown, the more I’ve found I can give. The more I’ve healed, the more I understand about the suffering and healing that is possible for others. Perhaps I didn’t need to become a member to learn some of this. Perhaps I just needed to attend enough meetings as a visitor to take in some of the message. Or perhaps working my own program is exactly what I needed. One of the outcomes of the pandemic has been the accessibility of so many programs and events via Zoom. Now is a great time to visit a meeting, AA, Al Anon, NA, Nar Anon, the list goes on. “It works if you work it, so work it you’re worth it, one day at a time.”


The Holy No

For Christmas last year, my husband gave me a “NO” button. It’s big, it’s red, and when you push it, a loud voice says (in one of eight ways), “No!” It was a silly stocking stuffer, meant to make me laugh and roll my eyes. But even silly gifts can impart a deeper meaning. My husband knows that I have a hard time saying no, and he thought the reminder—sitting right there on my desk, staring up at me day after day—would be helpful. 


Saying no is hard for many of us, particularly for women. We don’t want to let people down. We want to show that we can handle it. We want to come across as accommodating. So we take on work that isn’t ours to do, we fill our schedules with commitments we don’t have time for, we let people treat us with less respect and kindness than we deserve, and we go underpaid for years, in part because saying no doesn’t come easily. 


And if we do manage to say no, we soften the blow. We make up fake excuses to get out of that meeting we don’t want to attend. We dole out less-than-authentic encouragement when we think someone’s brilliant idea isn’t, actually, brilliant. We shrug off an inappropriate comment or action, laughing awkwardly and walking away. We don’t want to say no bluntly and directly. It’s hard. It doesn’t feel kind, or good, or right. 


I wonder how our Christian narrative has played into the relationship many of us have with saying no–and how this narrative might offer another way. Our foundational story—Jesus coming back to life after death—communicates that there is always room for hope. There is always room for reconciliation. There is always room for improvement. There is always room for something new. It’s expansive, this narrative. It allows for endless opportunities and possibilities. 


This expansiveness is what I cherish most about the faith I live and teach and preach. I have the word “hope” tattooed on my wrist as a constant reminder that our God is always capable of doing a new thing. The end is never really the end. Even in death, life wins. Even in grief, love wins. No matter what, there is something more, something better, something new, waiting. This truth is beautiful and powerful and transformative. It is, perhaps, the most important gift we have to share with the world. 


But there is a shadow-side to this belief and the way we’ve interpreted it.


It has formed us to be a people who can’t say no. 


The stone, after all, has been rolled away. The tomb is empty. Possibility is endless. Who are we to roll the stone back and seal off the tomb with our “no”?  Who are we, in the words of the United Church of Christ, to “put a period where God has put a comma”?


But maybe we should. 


Maybe saying no is just as holy as saying yes.


God, after all, says no.


God says no to murder and deceit and adultery and the worship of other gods in the commandments given to God’s people as they enter into a new, freed reality. 


God says no to Moses, denying him entrance into the Promised Land after years of wandering the wilderness.


God says no to remembering our sin, telling us over and over that God will forget our iniquities the moment they leave our lips in confession. 


And Jesus says no. 


Jesus says no to Satan in the wilderness, not just once but three times. 


Jesus says no to the money-changers at the temple trying to extort those who are simply trying to offer a sacrifice to God.


Jesus says no to a group of people about to stone a woman, forcing them to examine their own sin before casting judgment on hers. 


But the biggest “no” of all comes as God says no to death. 


In that very story that we interpret as God’s forever and final “yes,” God actually says no. The stone has been rolled away, the tomb is empty, possibility is endless—all because of God’s “no.”


Sometimes saying no can be the healthiest thing we do. Sometimes saying no honors our boundaries, energy, emotional health, and discernment better than anything else. Sometimes saying no, bluntly and directly, can be the holiest thing we do, full stop. 


No begrudging agreement. No niceties. No commas. Just, no. Only, no. No, period.   


No to that idea. No to that program. No to that meeting. No to that behavior. No to that relationship. 


Because let’s face it, not every idea is good. Not every program supports the mission of the congregation. Not every meeting is productive, not every behavior is appropriate, and not every relationship is healthy. 


So, no. No. NO. 


What if we stopped viewing “no” as prohibitive and started seeing it as freeing? What if we stopped viewing “no” as rude and started seeing it as assertive? What if we stopped viewing “no” as closing a door and started seeing it as opening one?


We have a beautiful, powerful story to tell. It’s a story about the endless possibilities of new life made possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s true. 


And it all started with “no.”


A Blessing for Those Who Say No


Blessed are you who say no.

Blessed are you who close the door,

who end the chapter,

who say there is not enough—

not enough time, not enough resources, not enough energy—

and who refuse to create more.


Blessed are you who call a thing what it is: 

A dead end.

An epic failure.

A terrible idea.


You have looked deep within and taken stock.

You have been honest with yourself and others.

You have not sugar-coated things or softened the blow or forced the idea.

You have examined the possibilities, counted the costs, and analyzed the benefits.


Be at peace with this tiny word that spells freedom.

Let the release it provides wash over you.

Be assured that it is a sacred thing you’ve done, saying no.

It is holy and brave,

and so are you.


Blessed are you who say no.

Lent is a Season To Tend Our Hollowness

2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”

Lent is a tough season in the liturgical calendar. It is a time for preparation, which means that it is a time for spiritual discipline. Lenten discipline rests on three pillars: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, which I have come to understand as all variations of fasting. Prayer is a fasting from the ego. Almsgiving is a fasting from holding on.

Lent arrives like salt in the wound during pandemic-time. Our collective series of lockdowns, quarantines, and isolations over the last two years have been an unavoidable and necessary time of fasting. We fasted from showing up, eating out, paid work, vacations, parties, hugs, and growing friendships or networks. We fasted from variety itself. We fasted from charting and anticipating the future. Whether or not we had gravitated toward this spiritual practice in the past, we were all shoved into the deep end. 

During my fasting, the image of the clay jar kept rising to the surface of my thoughts. I had spent time in the past considering the spiritual implications of the outside appearance of the jar – its brittleness and plainness – but I realized that the boundaries of the jar are only half of the story. The other half is its hollowness, its emptiness. A jar is only useful as a jar if it is hollow, no matter its outside appearance. I came to see that who we are as human beings is as much the emptiness that we bring to the world as it is the claiming of our borders. God has called each of us jars into which They place the treasures of Christ. But the world also endeavors to fill us up with its “treasure” so we need times of fasting to empty out our hollow places once more. We tend to our hollowness by being quiet and still; by sleeping; by holding our ambiguity; by forming no hasty opinion; by observing, confessing, repenting, and listening; even by dying. Lent is a season to tend our emptiness.

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A Blessing For When You Say Something Stupid


I have done it again

foot in mouth

paving that fiery road in so many good intentions

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Transgender at the World Council of Churches

“Cultivate your interconnectedness.” -GETI Small Group Leader

When someone says to you, “Hey, I think you should apply to go on this trip to Africa and, by the way, we’ll pay for it,” you just apply! It was a long time before I grasped what I had actually signed up for, never having heard of the World Council of Churches (WCC) or the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) before the invitation to apply. But in the unfolding, I found more life, hope, and joy in the global church than I ever knew I would see in my lifetime.

Joining 120 young people from around the world in Arusha, Tanzania, for the GETI program, I was blessed to participate in the WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism. The theme of the conference was “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” My participation in the conference was graciously covered by the PC(USA) Mission Agency as the office sent six delegates to participate in GETI. Being a part of the GETI program meant extra homework and (more exciting than the homework) the opportunity to learn alongside other young theologians in small groups and with various speakers who came to share with us.

Upon arrival at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, it became clear to me that the GETI students brought the youthful energy to the overall conference of about a thousand global Christians. It was about halfway through the week when the conference, I assume wanting to bring a little bit of that youthful vigor to the event, had the GETI participants lead a sokoni. “Sokoni” is a Kiswahili term that means “marketplace.” The idea behind having a marketplace at the conference was that it served as a place where conference-goers could gather to exchange ideas, stories and activities.[1] But I’m not sure the conference leaders realized exactly what they were unleashing when they asked a group of fiery, young, social justice-oriented participants to demonstrate how youth like to engage in mission.

7 people standing holding signs supporting protecting transgender youth, 1 person kneeling

“Protect Trans Youth” demonstration at World Council of Churches

Amidst the marketplace, a group of us offered up a version of a protest demonstration. Our marching and our signs were not directed towards anything at the conference but, instead, were intended to demonstrate the kinds of issues young people care about. Our signs read things like, “Water Is Life,” “Xenophobia Must Fall,” and “Black Lives Matter.” My sign read, “Protect Trans Youth.”

For much of the conference, I had felt invisible. Being gender non-binary at a global conference (particularly a global Christian conference) is not the easiest thing to do. A big part of this uneasiness came from the fact that in many languages there are just no words yet for gender identities outside of the gender binary (male or female). Some languages, like Spanish, are very binary driven and this translation barrier caused much confusion when I brought up my preferred pronouns: they/them/theirs.

But something changed for me as I was holding my sign during that sokoni. Read more

A Sacred Window

OnesWeLoveImageNothing can really prepare you for the death of a friend. It doesn’t matter how many pastoral care classes you took in seminary. It makes no difference how many funeral services you prepare and lead on a regular basis. The books on your shelves and the articles in your files do not mean a thing when it comes to losing someone you hold dear.

When I first met my friend (I’ll call her “D”), I was interviewing with the churches I now serve. D was serving as a Committee On Ministry liaison to the search committee. She was fun and feisty and full of energy. She was a strong woman with a clear, strong voice. She was, perhaps, one of the most dedicated Elders I had ever met. She spoke fluent sarcasm and had a wicked sense of humor that matched well with my own. We were fast friends and colleagues.

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The Risky Thing About Risk

4373711411_ef063a334f_zI spent my first two years of ministry scared to death.

Now, preaching and teaching do contain some measure of risk, and running a committee meeting can be a risky endeavor. These things were part of what I knew I was signing up for when I was ordained. They were part of the job. Likewise, so were sitting with families while a loved one died, listening while a young student confessed his fear that God can’t love him, praying with people in hospital rooms, and moderating arguments between warring volunteer organizations. These were sacred moments, and I quickly learned it was part of my job to be present in them. However, fast on the heels of that revelation came my deep fear that I would handle a situation poorly and manage to break the church. Or at least greatly disappoint them.

Somehow in my preparation for ministry, I missed the enormously important part about how I would be changed as I began to live into my calling.  And even though I knew I was (and am) in desperate need of healing of my sinful self on a daily basis, I didn’t count my fear as part of what needed to be changed. Instead, through trying to control my fear, I developed an obnoxious and overbearing attitude that I was convinced made me seem to have it all together all the time. In reality it made me obnoxious, overbearing, and terrified that the church would find out how scared I really was.

When Jesus is healing someone in the gospels, the healing happens after the person in need moves toward Jesus. For each one, there had to have been some kind of recognition that things were not okay, and something had to give. They could not suffer the present reality much longer and now was the time to seize the day—or the hem of a traveling teacher’s garment. It was risky to reach out like that, but God was there on the other side. For a long time, I wasn’t ready for that.

Then, in my second year of ministry, my mother began dying from cancer and as what was normal turned from family dinners to hospice care, I took what felt like a huge risk. I let go of my attitude, filled the congregation in, and asked them to hold my family in prayer. And as my mother’s health failed, I gave up my fear of disappointing my church for the hard truth: I was not okay and I needed them to know.

Somehow I had been convinced I would be letting the church down if I asked for their help. That’s not what happened at all. Instead the church prayed, the choir figured out who would take care of my dog while I went home, and members even came to my mother’s funeral. In hindsight it seems obvious, but at the time I was not expecting grace to be present on the other side.

And then a few months later, in the way of my denomination, I was sent to a new church in a new city. The temptation to fall back on my abilities to act like I had things together to get me through the transition was strong, but this time I had learned something.

So I asked some people to hold me accountable. I was going to work on taking risks, I told them. I was sure I’d caught it in time, and would do better this time around. My new church wouldn’t have to suffer from an associate pastor consumed with fear that she wasn’t good enough to do the job. I was going to trust that there would be grace enough to get me through.

At first, I took small steps: asking my senior pastor for help prioritizing my workload because projects were falling through the cracks, agreeing to share personal testimony about grieving my mother during the sermon one Sunday, and seeking out the people who rubbed me the wrong way and working to get to know them better. Then I found myself visiting some small groups and preaching sermons while asking the church to heed God’s call to transformation.

It was a start. But as challenging and rewarding as those moves were, I knew I was still holding back. I was preaching a call to transformation, but I was not willing to seek it for myself. I might have given over my professional life, but it was becoming frighteningly apparent that I needed to put my emotions and feelings on the line. I couldn’t pray that God would open up my understanding if I was not willing to open myself up as well.

You see, I still had massive Do Not Enter signs up around my personal life. And it was remarkably hypocritical to walk alongside these new people in their vulnerable moments knowing that I was still holding on to my old protective shell of fear.

So, what changed? I met someone. And our relationship has helped me to change.

This is not a fairytale, where meeting the Right One means all fades to black with a shimmer of magical escapism. But it is true that in this instance in my life, this conviction to take risks and let go of some fears coincided with meeting someone I sincerely like (like, a lot).

And since then, I’ve been thanking God for this someone on a daily basis. Not just because he is fun to be around, lovely to behold, and interested in the particulars of what makes a life of faith a good life, but because—call it Providence or whatever you will—he came into my life and I knew if I wanted to build a relationship with him, I couldn’t stay the same. And thanks be to God that I haven’t.

The rest of the truth is this: I am writing from the midst of a struggle that is ongoing. I’ve already disappointed myself and deflected some questions and avoided some topics because I’m still scared. But this time I hope that being scared means I’m making progress. I am finally leaning out past my fear to catch a glimpse of what good things might be in store down the road. This person I’ve met is definitely willing to offer me grace. And I know that in order to get there, scared or not, I’ll need to keep taking risks.

Waiting for Cupid

2161693094_9bf2e3179c_z“Sign up for Match!” your friends said. “My friend Beth met someone on there and they’re getting married in June!” your friends said. So you did. You shelled out for the six month period, trusting you’d never need that free additional six months because you’d meet someone special right away.

When the six month subscription ran out, you were still optimistic. That’s why they give another six months free, right? A whole year on Match with hundreds, maybe even thousands of people to meet? Yes, you’d meet someone special for sure.

After the second six months is over, still with no one special, you find yourself on OkCupid. Your single-pastor’s budget doesn’t have room for another subscription service. Your friends have assured you the free one is just fine. “Sign up for OkCupid!” your friends say. “My friend Sarah met someone on there and they’re getting married in July!” your friends say.  So you copy and paste from your Match account into your OkCupid account and wait.

Surely the perfect person is out there, waiting for you. It’s just a matter of time until a message from The One is in your inbox. But what should you do while you wait?

1.  Play Candy Crush Saga. This is the solution during your optimistic stage. If you open one browser window to OKC and play Candy Crush for a bit in another browser window, someone will message you. Five lives. You have five wholes lives. If you take the level slowly, you might even have two messages when you click back over to OKC!

2.  Clean. The optimism is waning, but you’re still certain that if you keep the OKC website open on your computer, someone will message you. Open up OKC. Open up Pandora. Clean! Come back to your computer. Yes! Three messages!

“hey sexy”

“wanna hook up”

“what u up 2”

You’re going to have to wait a while longer.

3.  Be SuperPastor. You’ve been sucked deeper into the OKC vortex, but you’re still hopeful that a message is coming. A real message. A message with correct spelling and grammar. You’re not going to think about it. You’re going to be SuperPastor instead. You call the grouchy lady and pray with her; through the power of the Holy Spirit, she’s happy for a solid ten minutes. You wrangle the youth group. You write a sermon that will make them laugh, make them cry…really, it’s better than Cats. The church calendar for the next three years is all sketched out. Take that, OkCupid message silence! You cannot defeat SuperPastor!

4.  Start the Master Cleanse. You know you need to take better care of yourself. You’ve been saying that for a while. Instead of waiting for someone else to message you, you’re going to take charge so that when that person finally messages you, you will be a strong, independent woman in awesome shape. Google “master cleanse.” Realize this involves several days of drinking only water laced with maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Decide to take a trip to Whole Foods* instead. Crack almonds it is. And some other healthy stuff while you’re there.

*Realize you’re a pastor in a small, rural town, perhaps thousands of miles away from Whole Foods. Collapse in despair.

5.  Decide to take things into your own hands. You will ferret out and message The One all on your own. Put on Orange is the New Black in the background. Plug in your laptop. You’ve got this. Start scrolling through your matches. Cute. Cute. No way. Kids? Hmmm. Click. What does that even mean. Google it. Click on another profile as quickly as possible. See another single pastor, one you know in real life, in your matches. Internally freak out. Can you click on their profile? Of course you want to know what they wrote. But what if OkCupid sends them a “She’s an exceptionally good match” email? Or “She’s checking you out right now!” Ignore the urge to click. Consider signing up for A-list so you can browse anonymously. Curse your budget limitations. Keep clicking.

6.  Reconsider your expectations. How long ago did you sign up for OkCupid? Take a long walk while pondering your list of requirements. Is the correct use of you’re/your really that important? Is a college degree necessary? You could totally get involved with a Tea Partier since opposites attract, right? Is it really about the gender or just the person? That person in Mozambique actually seemed nice; long-distance isn’t that big a problem, is it?

7.  Find single girlfriends. Yes, all your BFFs are happily partnered, but that’s why Meetup exists. Single girlfriends mean alcohol and group bemoaning of singleness. Their OkCupid horror stories will surely soothe your pain. The internet is once again your friend as you use it to locate other single ladies.

8.  Ponder scripture. Paul wrote about the gift of celibacy for a reason, right? Did God give you that gift and you’ve just missed it until now? Surely there’s a reason Roman Catholic clergy are celibate… maybe a call to ministry and a call to celibacy go hand in hand. Tear up a little at that possibility.

9.  Give real life a shot. Hang out in coffee shops. Google singles bars then hastily click away in terror. Go the places you love because The One will surely be there, too. Every single romcom says that’s true. Go to Meetups. Go to professional networking events. Yes! Forget OkCupid. You will encounter the perfect partner by a pre-digital age method. Millennia of humanity can’t be wrong! Stay out late and see who you meet!

10.  Just live. The truth is, you have an awesome life. You are an intelligent, gifted, beautiful woman. God called you to ministry and gave you people with whom to live out that call. It’s amazing and wonderful and life-giving and a rollercoaster ride. Yes, you want a partner, but the truth is, you’re fabulous all by yourself. OKCupid’s message silence be damned.

Ask a Young Clergy Woman: Youth Ministry Edition

Dear Askie,13937947100_3ba7d5dbcd_z

I’m a recent seminary graduate, and still looking for my first call. I know I want to serve as an assistant minster for a few years, but the reality of my denomination is that most churches that can afford to call an assistant are looking for a youth pastor. I think I’m the only young clergy woman who didn’t grow up actively participating in a youth group, or ever working as a camp counselor or youth minister before seminary. I’ve never worked with youth in this formal sense, but I am feeling God pulling me towards one of these positions, and want to be as prepared as possible. Any advice?

Accidental Energizer (and what’s an Energizer?)

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