Monday, December 18, 2006

Why Am I Doing This?

For several years now, I've felt a strong pull to serve my immediate neighbors who feel disenfranchised - from the church, from organized religion in general, or from having time and energy to deal with a faith community. I am a life-long Christian who was raised in and practices my faith in The Episcopal Church and have strong faith connections with many friends and parishioners. But I understand what it's like to lack that spiritual connection with friends. I've been down that road of disconnect. Today, I am blessed to be part of a fantastic faith community - St. David's Church in Washington, DC where I'm the Assistant Rector (Pastor). I also have many friends in my neighborhood and through various community organizations with whom I can share that journey of faith. And still, there are many friends and neighbors who have admitted to me that they have lost their connection and are open to finding a new one - they just don't quite know how or where.

Because my life has been enriched through Christian community, I want to be able to share what I have with friends and strangers alike: a place of welcome to all who question their faith and are looking for how God is working in their lives. In my own faith journey it was this type of questioning that led me to seek God more intentionally and to discover my calling.

I worked in churches in Southern California as parish administrator and youth pastor. After the birth of our twin sons my husband's job landed us here in Northern Virginia. We joined a local church (Church of the Good Shepherd) and once again found a lively community where we could grow and serve...and along came baby #3, our daughter.

My search continued and eventually I attended and grauduated from Virginia Theological Seminary (the awesome class of 2004) with a Masters in Divinity degree. I was ordained as a deacon in June that year at the Washington National Cathedral. On January 6th, 2005, the Feast of the Epiphany, I was ordained a Priest in the One, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

Since September 2002 I've served with the people of St. David's Church- as seminarian, deacon, and now priest. Although St. David's is located in Washington, D.C. we have individuals and families who make the drive from parts of Maryland and Virginia to practice their faith in a lively worshipping community. And my family is one of them. It was because of our kids enthusiasm over this church that we landed there. My husband, our three children, and I live in Fairfax, VA in the Mantua subdivision.

We've been blessed with a great church community and a great neighborhood community filled with friends who have supported us all the way. When blessings are this abundant, they overflow. I don't want that overflow wasted, so after much prayer and searching, this is where I am...on a blogspot reaching out to my neighbors.

That heart for the disenfranchised is not limited to the realm of church, though. See my links to some wonderful groups of people who have welcomed me to participate in the amazing things they are doing for homeless children, mentally ill adults, street dwellers and yes, exotic dancers! My mission call is grounded in the great commandment and follows the principle that the Most Reverend, William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1940's articulated : "The church is the only society that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members."

Come and join me on this journey. Come with questions. Come and see. Come and grow.

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