I began ministry in 1985 after a dramatic encounter with God. Through the years, I served as R.E. director in several churches. I served as a prison minister. I was ordained an evangelist and was part of a team that started two new churches in Mass, one in Malden and one in Salem. In the early 90’s I moved to Oklahoma for bible school and helped start a new church in Claremore, Oklahoma with another couple and my former husband.
Life is messy. For me, woven throughout the late 90’s there were situations and circumstances which pulled me away from Church. My understanding of faith was crippled by divorce, sickness, disenchantment and the profound sense of not fitting in. it was very difficult until I realized faith is not a something to strive after, it is a verb, a language by which God communicates to us love. At one point I felt so lost and beyond God’s reach. I was in this place for several years until I had a second profound encounter with God.
The relief allowed healings in so many areas of my being. I felt like I had been turned inside out or I had been given a new wine skin and had been filled with new wine. Now faith is the aptitude to see with the heart what can’t be seen with the eye. I felt empowered with the ability to open my heart to God’s love. I felt empowered to reach out to the one who has been reaching out to us all along!
I began to get well and went back to school, earned degrees in Gerontology and Graphic Arts and found ways to express my gifts and talents. I started two successful businesses relating to outreach, marketing, communication, technology, music and business.
The new me acknowledged my authentic, same gender loving self and found God in the LGBT community. For the first time in my life I knew I was completely embraced in God’s love without a, “Ya But…” During that time I rejoined a local church and several years later began my discernment of call in the United Church of Christ. I graduated from seminary in 2009.
Mother Teresa has said,” “We have no peace because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” The longer I do ministry the more I realize belonging is the driving force of love. God is love and desires for us to live into our belonging with God, within ourselves and with others. I am convinced that sin is the condition of alienation. The moment we exclude or are excluded we are inviting or experiencing the condition of alienation. God does not alienate. The people I encounter every day, bear witness to the varying degrees that they experience alienation from God and others. Furthermore, for numerous reasons many share a deep sense of dissatisfaction. Having been there, I seek to help others discover what I have discovered, so that they can surrender old wineskins for new ones filled with the new wine of belonging. My passion for evangelism has caused me to focus on training in new church initiatives and ministries.
I am very excited to be the last called pastor of First Congregational Church Haverhill and look forward to the birth of Phoenix Rising UCC in October 2015. It is my vision to help individuals understand their place in this reemerging Christian community. I look forward to witnessing folks experience a new sense of identity as they embrace their own self-worth by connecting to God and others.
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