Clergy’s Place

Carlee L. Hallman shares a poem about the place of clergy.

Occupying the Call of the Deacon: What’s Next?

By Allyson C. Talbert.

In biblical times, the responsibilities of the distinctive office of the deacon were to attend to those without resources and to handle the material needs of the congregation. In the early church, deaconesses were women whose main duties were to minister to the poor, to widows, and to orphans, and to teach religious doctrine to women preparing for baptism. As the priesthood and episcopacy increased, so did the clerical duties of the diaconate. “The sick and poor were gathered into hospitals, or looked after by the novitiates and other pious workers, and the deacon eventually became a ‘minister’ in the ecclesiastical sense.” From its inception, the ministry of the deacon has been a teaching, healing, and equipping ministry—a ministry of Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice.

Creativity and Learning

By Susan W. N. Ruach.

In a recent conversation, a friend shared that he has started taking a class in watercolor painting. “I’m learning patience,” he said, “because you have to wait for the paint to get really dry between each color.” Later he acknowledged that he suspected it would also help him with patience in other areas of his life. That conversation got me thinking about what I have learned from my own creative endeavors.

Spirit Brush Arts

By Donna Fado Ivery.

In 1994, a disabling brain injury dramatically changed how I form each thought and motion, throwing me out of the pastoral ministry, my beloved vocation. With compromised speech, memory, vision, balance, left-side facility, and endurance, and through five years of rehab and chronic pain, I learned how to shadow the Spirit’s creative movement in order to get “through it all.”

A Gift as Old as Time . . . Stitching for a New Day

By Julienne Judd.

When I was five, I received a doll for Christmas. It came with one set of clothing; of course I immediately lost her socks and underwear. The next morning, thanks to my mother and my father’s white socks, she had a pair of underwear, tops and bottoms. I remember thinking, Clothes from socks.


By Tweedy Sombrero.

One of the hardest things to do is to believe in yourself, especially when it seems that others do not believe in you or your work, do not believe in your ability to do the work, and do not believe that you can be the leader you are called to be.

Tools for Change and a Whacking Wardrobe

By Bishop Beverly J. Shamana, Retired.

Speaking the truth in love demands creativity. A straightforward whack at harmful, entrenched belief is sometimes best, but not every time. Diversity in speaking the truth in love is what counts, especially since we live in a time that still calls us to break open the Church’s frozen imagination. Filled with images rooted in the past of who is qualified to lead the Church, most members still doubt whether clergywomen have the requisite skills to lead the denomination. Even after fifty-five years of witnessing their competence and grace and their transmission of the good news of Christ in ways that cross all barriers in its appeal, members continue to doubt.