Identities: Fibers of a Sacred Yarn

Grace Cajiuat, of the Wisconsin Area of the United Methodist Church, shares how when we learn of and from our identities, we can better develop and practice humility, curiosity, and empathy: the three traits that can hold together our integrity in the tapestry we are trying to weave. When we take the time to discover the fibers/identities that make the yarn, we align love with truth that makes the weaving that is the “kin-dom” of God.

Still Claiming Our Identity in Christ

The Rev. Mary Council-Austin, of the Wisconsin area of the United Methodist Church, is a second-generation clergywoman. Her mother turned 90 and has been an ordained minister for more than 60 years. The Rev. Council-Austin recounts the journey of women in ministry – and the triumphs and challenges over the years – while offering encouragement that God stands ready to bless us.

Oppression and Empowerment of Native Americans

Robin Starr Minthorn, of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, recounts the oppression Indigenous peoples have faced and explains why it is important to understand the past that lives within the generations of today.

Release to the Captives

The Rev. Anita Phillips executive director of the Native American Comprehensive Plan of the United Methodist Church, shares her perspective as a Native American clergywoman on the matter of bodies, oppression, and the Gospel. She responds to the oppression visited upon indigenous people, and particularly Native American women, by proclaiming release to the captives.

Journeying with Clergy Women: Exploring Self-care in Community

By Choi Hee An, Carole Bohn, and Susan Hassinger. The purpose of this article is to share our observations on how female clergy understand, sustain, and support themselves and their ministry.

And They Saw, and They Went

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, of the Louisiana Area of the United Methodist Church, shares how an encounter with Jesus can change one’s perspective for the rest their life.

From Rags to Royalty: The Voice of One Hmong Clergywoman

By Mao Vang Her.

The thought of being an agent of change can be a scary one, especially for a Hmong woman. But I am convinced that I have a message that can transform the lives of others. So to be a clergywoman, I have to overcome my fears and inadequacies not only as a woman but also as a Hmong woman.

Transformational Solidarity

By Patricia Bonilla.

When I first started attending a United Methodist church in the near south side of Chicago, after finishing my Bachelor’s degree in a small private liberal arts college, I was very idealistic. I wanted to transform my neighborhood, and the world for that matter, by being involved in social justice work. I wanted to make changes that would better the quality of life of people in my neighborhood and create opportunities for empowerment and inclusion.

Do You Have a Complex?

By Aida Irizarry-Fernández, New England Conference.

Many years ago, when I was in supervision for my LICSW, my supervisor at the Great Brook Valley Health Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, said to me, “Aida, you must get rid of your Messiah complex; otherwise you will not be able to truly fulfill your call.” Jackie was a former Roman Catholic nun, a very skillful clinician, and an intuitive woman of faith. Her statement took me by surprise; I remember that the word that made me most uncomfortable was complex. I immediately lifted my guard and deployed my defenses: “I have no complex; what are you talking about?”

The Uniqueness of Diversity: Psalm 107:3

By Ouida F. Lee, North Texas Annual Conference.

While waiting to board an American Airline flight one day, I noticed the slogan painted near the open door that read, “One World Alliance.” Uncertain of the airline’s interpretation of this sign, it still spoke very openly to me: we are connected. Though American is an individual company with its own values and goals, it is simultaneously connected with all other transporters, sharing the same airspace and being guided by the same air traffic controllers, unique and diverse.