Please reflect on your participation in the life of your congregation, the diocese, and the larger community:
When I look at my life today, I am in a place I never expected to be. Since the church began the Exodus, Way of Love, and Becoming Beloved Community work, I have immersed myself in a spiritual journey deeper than I have ever taken before. Jesus’ declaration to Love God and love your neighbor as yourself to supersede any other commandment is a practice that I work on daily with a Rule of Life. I can better see that all of the obstacles I’ve faced have made me the person I am and that my struggles and prayer allow me to connect with almost everyone I encounter. Every day I think about how to make a way in the Empire and how to be faithful to God. I keep trying for the next right step. In A&HT, I have served on vestry and as a volunteer communications leader, as well as an EM and lector. I was part of RenewalWorks. I lead the Guided Meditation ministry from our church in our community and have transitioned it to Zoom. I have been on the Procter Board for almost 2 years, as chair of Marketing and Fundraising, and have been working to find other opportunities to increase the Procter Center footprint in London and in DSO, especially in these challenging times. The work of the farm has become more important in revitalizing downtown, providing food and respite care, and providing job training. There is more work to do to bring the strategic plan to life there. These opportunities have built on what I learned in my career as a Strategic Planner and Program Manager. In addition to work tied to the church, I was part of a proposal to my city in June that was very controversial. It called to review all the city and police procedures for possible disparate results. It called to Tell the Truth to learn about our city’s history and to work on community building. There were personal attacks against me that escalated to the point where the Mayor enacted the proposal on his own to try to deescalate that situation. The work is now underway. I found this inspiring, that by using BBC framework, we could do hard things and work toward healing.
Why do you feel God is calling you to serve in this position?
In prayer, when I look at the way my life has changed since being involved in Becoming Beloved Community, I see many possibilities to build here in DSO, and many needs. COVID-19 has had a major impact on Ohio and in our church. In the coming years, this impact will continue. I would like to contribute to the DSO stepping up to serve the community that takes an Asset Based Community Development approach. One of the things that I’ve learned from my Procter Center experience is that when staff and volunteers have to spend a lot of time justifying their existence, it’s hard to work on the mission of loving God and neighbor (and yourself). I’d like to be part of the Budget committee to help find ways of using our precious resources to serve DSO and our community to help do the work of Becoming Beloved Community – to see each person as a beloved child of God, who doesn’t have to earn the right to be human. I would like to find ways to keep the financial focus on that mission in addition to being a good steward.
Thinking of stewardship – I look to the parable of the talents and Rohrbaugh’s commentary, Reading the Bible Through Ancient Eyes. The master who had accumulated wealth was the wicked one. The number of talents he had was impossible to have gained through moral means. The third slave who buried the talent and stood up the master was the one who was faithful to Jesus teaching. This reading upends what we hear traditionally about that parable, that we are supposed to double our wealth to earn God’s love. That’s not how Jesus says he works. I’d like to look at how we manage our DSO finances in the way to get the most we can to those who need it using all legal means. We have many assets in our church. Are we using them in the best way to follow Jesus?