Chaplain of Covenant Village of Cromwell, Connecticut
My ministry has been put as “first” in many things—first North Park Seminary class with women entering pastorate, then the first woman to be called to a second church, first woman denominational officer, then first old lady pastor seeking a fresh position.
My first pastoral position was as associate at Farmington Hills, Michigan. At the time I was one of two women in the denomination who were pastoring churches. It was lonely. But ever since I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to be a minister. When the Covenant voted to affirm the ordination of women, I assumed it was part of my call into ministry.
It was not an easy road in the beginning years. Getting a superintendent to put my name (or any woman’s) into the mix for search committees was a challenge—as was being considered a permanent pastor by the national ministry office. It was assumed I would not be a pastor once I married, or had children, or grew tired of it, etc.
On an ecumenical retreat, I once met a retired female pastor with pure white hair and lots of wrinkles. I immediately started weeping. Only then did I realize how hard it was to not have a role model.
When we women graduated from seminary we were thrilled about the possibility of transformation within the church. If we put a complete sentence together, we were deemed brilliant! We were probably naïve in thinking that momentum would continue, but I enjoy the joyful hope of women graduating today.
When I grew up I wanted to be:
Dale Evans until I was five, then a minister.
First live concert:
Three Dog Night singing “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog”