|Posted on June 18, 2019 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Every Father's Day evening during my childhood, my family would drop my uncle and other church members off to catch the bus to attend an annual meeting of my childhood denomination that is taking place this week in Baltimore. This morning, my mother sent me an email that lists all the particulars of this meeting that she was unable to attend this year. One of the first things I noticed is a flyer for a late night service that featured 11 male pastors and preachers.
While there weren't all of these fancy flyers in the 80s and 90s, images of all men as preachers are the only ones I saw growing up as a Baptist youth. And while I knew a few women who were evangelists and licentiates, at an early age, I knew who got to speak on God's behalf.
While memory and journals indicate a call to ministry as a teen, it would take until my mid-30s to finally answer this wondrous calling that I wrestle with daily.
Images such as the flyer I reviewed today also reinforce why I try to do my small part to build up women who preach, struggle with answering that call, or have silenced the thought because they believe there is no room for their voices. After hosting my first Women in Ministry Fellowship in 2014, I'll never forget a male pastor asking, "Who told you, you could do that?"
I answered, "the Holy Ghost." I am now an ordained woman within American Baptist Churches USA, and I have moved geographically and theologically away from my early formation that affirmed I was to be quiet in the church.
My prayer this week is for safe travels for all who will gather in that space. I pray that the preached words and training will bless all who attend these sessions. I also pray that those sisters who participate as teachers, missionaries, youth workers, and first ladies will feel affirmed and stirred even more to answer callings some have likely muted. I also pray for that teen girl who is still figuring out the voice of God. May what she sees not mute or override that still small voice that she hears! And may what she is hearing be confirmed by a prophetic voice along the way!
If you are a woman you know have been called to the preaching ministry and would like to be streinghted as a proclaimer of the Gospel, consider joining us on Oct. 12, 2019, for our third instalment of our Women in Ministry Fellowship. Register today
|Posted on February 19, 2017 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
As I prepare for the Women in MInistry (and Discernment) Fellowship being held next month in Charleston, S.C., I am starting to recall the uncomfortable moments of ministry I initially experienced as an associate minister. Honestly, unlike other women, haven't been inappropriately touched, propositioned, or publicly called out of may name. However, life for me has been no crystal stair when it comes to entering and growing in ministry.
It's amazing what remains in our memory banks. Had to laugh as I recalled being asked to give a prayer at a community service. Thankfully I was told beforehand that the host pastor didn't acknowledge female ministers. I went prepared to sit in the pews, and then carryout my assignment at the appointed time. Chile, I am "guessing" dude said no one would be confused. All of the chairs were removed from the pulpit and participants sat on the floor.
But that doesn't even beat the female elder who drove 2 hours to preach only to be told by the pastor that her services weren't needed. She sat there and listened to him preach because she wanted to be in church on Mother's Day.
Even as we are challenged by discrimination and disrespect, we continue to walk out our God-ordained assignments. We continue to look, preach, minister, and LIVE!
|Posted on February 17, 2017 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
Forgive me, I grew up in the 80s and 90s and some of those song verses keep stirring in my soul. I am hyped and amped about the upcoming Women in Ministry (and Discernment) Fellowship.
I can't beleive it's already been three years since the last event. I've been busy being a women in ministry.
Sooooo have you looked at the flyer and wondered "What is that really about?" ?
Feel free to message me via the site or send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about the day.I am finalizing the itinerary, but I can share what the time will look like. The Fellowship will provide a space where we'll have conversations you've only shared with that one good girlfriend who probably chuckles in her heart and says "Chile, please." We want to affirm and probe what others may deem laughable.
After the event in 2014, I heard "I didn't know I could come...I'll make sure I come next time...I saw the pictures; y'all had a good time!" Don't be caught trying to figure out what happened by looking at the pics on Facebook when you can be in the number.
Click on the Women in Ministry tab for more information and to register TODAY.
|Posted on June 10, 2015 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Many have inquired about how I found my recently announced position. Well, first, I had to find myself thinking outside of a box some had placed me in. I then found myself using the expensive research skills I have obtained and started investigating other denominations outside of my own. This wasn't immediate, as many previously suggested I would likely find vocational placement outside of my Baptist denomination.
Around Sept/Oct 2013, I located a another denomination's national listing of ministry opportunities. I submitted the information requested and waited. A month later, I received confirmation that the info was received by an administrative assistant at the Association level. In December 2013, I received an email from the congregation.
Throughout this process and time of discernment, I recalled the words of a divinity school professor who reminded me "Arlecia, you have a Macedonian Call." I had to go and study Acts 16:6-10. Three years after that tear-filled meeting in his office, those words and the text now make so much sense.
I share this because someone reading may find yourself going in circles. You're trying to make the one way you know work, and maybe God has another plan or way. Maybe you have spent more energy trying to enlist the help or affirmation of a human being instead of asking God for help. There will be many men and women along the way who will help you along the path, but don't discount God in all of your networking, hobnobbing, named-dropping, and the like. After folks have thrown away your cards you are still on God's mind!
As a woman in ministry, I recognize my path as a "daughter" is and will be different than the paths of sons before and after me. But instead of living in a state of lament and repeating the soliloquy titled "No one will help me!" I chose to TRUST GOD. In the midst of all of this, I came up with the idea of the inaugural Women in Ministry Fellowship. With God's help, we pray to continue that work!
As always, continue to look and live!
On Sunday, May 31, I was blessed to take this pic with two former students (yes, they are twins) who later became my sorority sisters, and were hearers of the word when I preached in Washington, D.C.