I’m an American Baptist because I love the racial-ethnic diversity in our midst and the variety of theological perspectives. I love how my friendships with American Baptist colleagues are grounded in prayer and how much I learn from them about our walk with Jesus. I’m an American Baptist because it’s home.
I received the gift of faith as a child. My journey is one of slow and steady growth of faith in Jesus Christ. I was baptized at age 13 in an American Baptist/United Church of Christ congregation. At that time I promised to give my life to Christ.
My first experience with the church that I remember was singing in the Cherub Choir. I remember that I wore a little blue robe and sang a solo. I remember hearing my voice soar through the sanctuary.
I think the biggest challenge facing the church today is to look beyond ourselves. We need to think of the church as mission and ministry, not only as a bunch of committees with worship in an historic building on Sunday.
I pray for God’s guidance. I ask God to use me as God’s instrument in the world. I pray for discernment in every action and word spoken. I pray for friends and neighbors in pain or grief. I pray for churches and clergy. I pray for the world. I spend much time in prayer giving thanks to God. Prayer is like this delicious time to hang out with God and together view all of daily life, every minute detail, every human interaction. God is so loving and gracious and shows a lovely sense of humor in our daily time together.
I struggle the most in my personal life with self-hatred. The tempter whispers that I do not deserve to live and serve God and claim these blessings I have been given.
I am most passionate about discipleship when it comes to living out my faith in the world. I am passionate about growing spirituality in and outside our churches. I want clergy to be on fire with passion for their ministry. I want church folks to hear the love and power in the Word of God. I want unchurched folks to connect to a life of spirituality and to grow more deeply reflective and contemplative in whatever tradition calls to them.
I think the church in 10 years will have a few traditional and thriving cathedral-style churches with fabulous music programs and festive worship. Smaller churches will have more ministry within their community. They will not have committees or budgets supporting themselves. Their ministry will be on-line, virtual and serving in multiple locations and settings.