“I grew up in Atlanta. I met my husband Dave in Old Testament class in seminary at Emory University. We were both in our 50s and became second-half-of-life ministers. Dave has been the pastor at Jubilee Shores Methodist Church for a year. I am a spiritual director. It is a Benedictine way of helping people see how God is working in their lives. I spent two years learning from Benedictine nuns in Colorado.
The first half of my life I was marred to a man who swept me off my feet, but he ended up being a very bad man. He held a strict theology of God and man, and the woman does whatever the man says. He was also a military officer. One of the tenets of that faith was you didn’t use birth control because that goes against God. I had seven babies in ten years. I love them, but when you have seven babies in ten years, you aren’t going anywhere, no matter how bad things are. It took a long time to get away from him. I ran away from home twelve years ago and took my youngest children with me. They were 16 and 17. I was a Protestant woman knocking on the door of the Benedictine monastery. The 35 badass nuns took me in saved my life. I started getting my life back and leaning into the dreams that God always had for me.
In July, I will start pastoring Westside Methodist Church, a small church in Mobile. I didn’t think I wanted to be a preacher, but I started filling in for preachers and I love it. This is my first time to pastor a church, and I cold not be more excited about getting a little place to change a little piece of the world. I haven’t thought much about my first sermon, but we are living in a time of uncertainty. We have to trust in the mystery of God, not try to live above it. That is where my heart is, so the sermon may come from there. In times of uncertainty, it is harder to feel deeply and care about other people, but there is no other choice. We need each other, and God will get us through this.
Our souls also need flowers and beauty more than ever. I want people to come out and pick from our free flower garden at church. People also rent out our gardens boxes and we plant and talk and fellowship here. Now and then we bring our chairs and a bottle of wine and sit under the trees to be together, but apart. We also added a prayer walk for a place of quiet to be with the Divine. This has become a sacred place for me. We want everyone in the community to use this.“