by Lora Steiner, managing editor When Penny Naugle announced she was retiring after ten years as an elementary principal at Penn View Christian School in Souderton (Pa.) to become a chaplain, the teachers weren’t surprised. “Well, duh,” one responded, “That’s what you do to us.” If there is a usual path to chaplaincy work, Naugle … Continue reading Listening for a new move of God→
by Krista Showalter Ehst, Alpha Mennonite Church My calling into ministry did not come in a crystal-clear “Aha!” moment. I have friends and former seminary classmates who knew they were going to be a minister since the age of 12, or who experienced a distinct “burning bush” calling from God. I, on the other hand, … Continue reading There wasn’t a burning bush→
by Carolyn Albright, Ripple Allentown Juanita is nine months pregnant. Her boyfriend, the baby’s father, is in hospice dying of cancer, and she’s about to be evicted from her apartment in downtown Allentown. She arrives at Ripple desperate, yet cheerful. Tomorrow is her birthday, and we celebrate by singing and giving her a whole cake, … Continue reading Confirming call: wrestling, resisting, remembering, surrendering→
by Phil Bergey, interim lead pastor at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church My work as an executive coach and process consultant requires me to travel around the country as I work with church-related organizations from various denominations. I enjoy my work and was looking forward to doing more of it after having recently finished a Ph.D … Continue reading Surprised by the call→
Writing a call to ministry story is probably the last thing I ever expected to do if you would have asked me fifteen years ago. At that time in my life, I had doubts about the role of women in leadership and yet I was serving in different capacities in my home congregation, Doylestown Mennonite Church. As I look back on that time, I think the call to ministry had been brewing in my life for several years.
I am scheduled to be ordained into pastoral ministry February 9 at Souderton Mennonite Homes. It’s a service that affirms God’s call on me to lifelong ministry to the Church, and gives me the credentials and oversight to do so through the Franconia Mennonite Conference….
I have always had a sense of what it means to be called into service. My parents and grandparents modeled for me the importance of living out our faith through seeking God’s purpose for our lives. As my grandfather always said, “You don’t come to church to warm the benches.” Through his example and others I came to understand that walking with Christ is lived out daily as one shares her gifts with those around her. We are all ministers of the gospel as we build relationships and reach out as Christ’s hands and feet.
I had never fasted before. I had heard about it and even read about it, but, truthfully, I rather enjoy eating and so fasting was not a high priority. My curiosity was triggered, however, when I downloaded a new album from Flame and song eleven, appropriately titled “Daniel 10” opened with a pastor talking about the need for men and women to fast. As I listened to the album more and more, my curiosity grew more and more and my desire to fast grew more and more. But I did nothing.
Some of you older folks may remember the days before cell phones. When I was in college and wanted to talk to my parents, I put my finger in the dial (no buttons to push…) at “O” for operator and actually heard a real live voice ask “May I help you?” I would say “person to person collect call to Geraldine Willcox.” My mother had the option of accepting or refusing the call. I am glad to say that she always accepted her daughter’s call. Have I answered the right calls throughout my life?