Good day F/friends.
I was born and raised in Iowa Falls, where my family attended the Disciples of Christ/First Christian Church. I was baptized by immersion when I was about 11 years old because I Knew with all of my Being I was called to be a follower of Jesus. I also had a Knowing that I was being called to ministry to share Christ’s Love.
After college I moved to NW Iowa with my then husband (and still dear friend) Jon. If there had been a Disciples Church near Primghar I probably would never have become a Quaker. But there was not. When we started looking for new faith community Quaker friends suggested we try meeting for worship. I knew there would be no music or prepared message, just “sitting for an hour” and that didn’t appeal to me at all. After we exhausted all other possibilities we finally accepted the invitation but with few expectations. However, when we settled in (at the back bench so we could leave if we couldn’t take it) I took a deep breath. I knew without a doubt that I had come home. I was welcomed into membership in 1980. At some point I began giving messages in meeting for worship, and I was encouraged as I grew into the gift. Funny how that childhood leading came true!
Eventually I moved to Des Moines where I worked as coordinator for a faith based peace and justice organization, Iowa Peace Network. In 1998 I started working for Friends General Conference as coordinator and co-creator of the new Traveling Ministries Program. In 2007, I became Associate Secretary for Ministries, still coordinating the TMP.
I might still be working there, but in late winter of 2014 I came down with Gillian Barre Syndrome and was critically ill and away from work until the end of that summer. I returned to work that fall, but by the end of the 2015 summer, it became clear that my GBS related limitations were keeping me from doing the quality of work I wanted to do. And so after 17 years of the best job ever, I took disability retirement.
And thus I was given the next Opportunity for ministry. After I had been off work for a few weeks Lloyd Lee emailed me, explaining the vision he’d been given, and telling me I was a part of that vision. I was surprised at how quickly God showed me my new work.
(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the apprentice authors, and not official statements of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) or Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) of the Religious Society of Friends.)