MARCH 2007

Remember St. Winifred’s church?  The skinny little seven-year-old girl who knew she belonged to God?

It was a long and arduous journey from there to ordination day … a journey I wouldn’t trade for all the world. Nothing compares to telling God, “Okay.  Use me.”

I don’t know why God chose me.  I’m certainly not any more special than the next person.  I haven’t had an ideal life.  I question everything.  I can have quite a potty mouth.  I have been extraordinarily stubborn, blind, and just plain foolish. 

Sometimes I think God chose me because I was an interesting challenge: I was so wounded.  My childhood was painful.  I’ve been hungry and homeless.  I’ve been rescued and have given refuge to others.

I’ve vacationed in castles and tents.  I’ve been offered brilliant and stupid advice – and taken both.  I’ve been outrageous and invisible.  I’ve been paralyzed in terror and boldly courageous.  I’ve been deeply in love, and lonely – occasionally at the same time.  I’ve been up.  I’ve been down.

Maybe there was a Divine plan in all that wounding, and the enormous task of healing.  It’s rare that I meet someone with whom I can’t empathize.  And having walked through my own fire, I’m a strong guide for helping others walk through theirs.

 

I was denied ordination at my first seminary.  It took seven years to heal my disappointment and humiliation enough to try again.  But as is true for all massive stumbling blocks – at least in my life – it was a blessing in disguise.

After a solid education in Christian theology and metaphysics, I landed at The Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, California.  There, I studied both Eastern and Western religions with some of the world’s preeminent spiritual leaders.

I sat at the feet of Rabbis, Priests, Imams, Medicine Men, Wiccan Priestesses, and Dream Philosophers.  I attended Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Sufi, Christian, Sikh, and Baha’i services.  I learned to design rituals for any occasion and received excellent pastoral training.

As an interfaith minister, I am proud to belong to a spiritual community that abandons no one.  I am especially grateful to be able to ask, “What spiritual language do you speak?”  I will meet you in your experience of the Divine and we can journey together however you are most comfortable.  A few years ago I was offered a second ordination with an ecclesiastical body headquartered in Washington, DC.  I feel twice blessed for my first failure.

I have ministered to thousands of people officiating weddings, baptizing babies and adults, preaching, teaching, dream coaching, hospital and hospice chaplaincy, conducting funerals and memorial services, and as a spiritual guide for healing and growth.

It’s a privilege to be allowed into each life.  And I’m NOT DONE YET.  I cannot imagine retiring from ministry.  It is entirely too rich to give up.  It keeps me on my toes and fulfills my deep need for purpose.  I might slow down some day, but not anytime real soon.