I am back from a quick run to Roanoke where I “manned” the Virginia Baptist Women in Ministry Booth http://www.vbwim.org/ at an annual gathering of The Baptist General Assembly of Virginia. I have served as the moderator of the VBWIM for two years, and now my tenure is coming to a close. I was also pleased to lead a break out session focusing on the challenges of Women in Ministry that still exist in ALL denominations. It was the first time in the nearly 30 year history of the VBWIM that we were actually invited to lead a break out session at this state-wide gathering. The stories we heard about the challenges professional women face in 2016 is at times overwhelming. Yet, I walked away thankful for the goals I personally set and accomplished in my role as moderator, but especially being called to denominational and pastoral work with the Disciples of Christ. In my conversation with many people, I heard over and over how the Disciples were the place where discounted women of faith and ministry have found a home. Hospitality and welcome to the outsider, the marginalized is nothing new to the Disciples – and certainly wasn’t to our teacher, example and Lord Jesus. Jesus reached out to those others rejected…and often was a bit harder on those on the “in” for their ongoing activities which excluded the “outs.” We welcome ALL people: the stranger, the immigrant, the recovering, the impoverished, the single, the single parent families, the blue, the red and the rainbow. We make room at the Welcome Table for all believers.
I am so proud to be part of not only our loving faith family at PSCC but our covenant tie with the larger Disciple family (www.disciples.org). May we continue to consider how we as a local congregation live this out – by involvement in our local agencies and communities, but also in how we keep our doors open to those seeking sanctuary and spiritual fellowship.