West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship
B.A. in English, Eastern Mennonite College/University
Masters in Library Science, Kent State University
Certificate in Ministry Studies, Eastern Mennonite Seminary (in PA)
My primary interests are in the areas of preaching, planning and leading worship, ministry to women, and peacemaking within congregations and beyond to our world.
I prefer to stay in the east, especially in Virginia or North Carolina or Pennsylvania.
I’ve been been active at WPMF the past 15+ years with preaching, planning and leading worship, chairing the worship committee, planning and leading / co-leading the women’s retreats, overseeing the church library, teaching Sunday School, arranging the congregational archives, and other involvements.
In Franconia Conference, I’ve served on the Library and Collections Committee of the Mennonite Heritage Center and on the Peace and Justice Committee. I was the instigator and coordinator for the 2012 Sister Care seminar (Mennonite Women USA) of the Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference that brought together 130 women, and have formed a new EDC/FMC Women’s Committee to spiritually encourage and support the women of our conferences.
I have a great interest in history, particularly in conscientious objection to war, both for Christians and for those with other motivations. I have published several articles about WWI C.O.s and continue to write and speak on that subject as the opportunity arises. I also care deeply about justice concerns, especially for those in our church neighborhoods who are in need, and for detecting how God is already at work there and invites us to join in bringing the Kingdom to flourishing growth.
My congregation was vital in helping me discern my gifts. I had always thought myself too shy to speak in front of a group, but they encouraged me to design and lead worship and to preach, and it’s become a large part of what I most love doing. Being in an urban setting means a milieu of different backgrounds and ideas in the people I meet and with whom I worship, and this has helped me to expand my thinking and my heart. When I turned 50 several years ago, I felt a deep desire to spend much more of my time in ministry, and a group from church gave their enthusiastic support to the plan of going to seminary for further equipping.
Ideal Ministry Situation
I love paying attention to how the Scriptures are still relevant to our lives today and to how God’s love holds and transforms us, and I love bringing that to a congregation through preaching, teaching and worship leading. I am open to a part-time or full-time position, and have a great preference for small churches (under 100). I would be open to an urban setting if it was not in a huge city, or to a rural setting.
Because I work full-time and have no outside financial support (I am not married), I could not commit to earning a Masters or MDiv at this point. I was so grateful to be accepted into the certificate program, and have thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to meet and be discipled by so many thoughtful ministry practitioners. I’ve grown in my understanding of myself and others, in my knowledge about the Bible, and in my confidence in my ministry strengths.
The Formation in Ministry course with Marcus Smucker was the most helpful and interesting to me. I learned a lot about why I operate as I do, why I enjoy certain parts of ministry and find others more challenging, and how to be more gentle in responding to myself and others when difficulties arise. I also enjoyed meeting Anabaptists in London and Bristol, through a cross-cultural class, and hearing of their patient ways of outreach to the unchurched in England.
Advice for Prospective Students
I had doubts about being able to keep up with all the younger students in seminary, but found that my life experiences and abilities brought a richness to our interactions and to my studies. So, it’s worth starting this adventure later in life!