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#MeToo (In a round about way my Gratitude day 8)

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Upon reading Bishop Tim Smith’s (Bishop of the North Carolina, ELCA) Facebook post this morning, I felt led to share a part of my story.

Sometime after we had adopted our littleman, I was sharing with a close mentor how much Joe and I loved and adored him and how blessed we were to have been given such a precious gift from God (and anyone who knew us and knows us – indeed knows how much we did and always will adore him).  I went on to ponder aloud, wondering if we should consider adopting another child, although Joe and I had long ago agreed to have only 1 child.  When asked why would I try to convince Joe off this I said “well, if we adopted again we could adopt a little girl and we could have one of each and I could make matching dresses for us.”  My mentor paused for a moment and said, “Kelly, is it really something you feel called to do – adopt another child?  Is that something that would work for your family?”  When I quietly, said “Well not really”.  I again said “I want you to know I truly believe Z is our child and the one that God meant for us to have, he is the only one that could complete our family.”   She then said something that greatly impacted my life and gave me something to strive for every single day.  That impact was made when she said “Kelly, you have a powerful story, that hurts, I know.  But God has blessed you with a little boy, so that you and Joe can raise a young man to know how to treat young women and ladies for the rest of his life.”  WOW!  Each day I believe we strive to do just that – some day’s more successfully than others.   I’m thankful for that special mentor.

That all being said, I’ve been hesitant to jump in the #MeToo movement because while it’s a part of my story and always will be – it hurts.  Not only does it hurt I’m afraid of what those who hurt me might say or do, or how others will feel if they knew that part of my story, or is it going to just give some who are constantly looking for something to critic something else to judge me on, or is it going to put a mark on any  future service I have with the church as an ordained minister and my list could just keep going on.

I’m not all grateful for that part of my story but I am most currently eternally grateful for CareNet of the Triad for the amazing care I’ve been given there for a number of years.  Without the team that I’ve been blessed with I would be not nearly where I am in my journey with accepting my #MeToo story and trying to heal from the hurt.  I wouldn’t suggest attempting to tackle it alone – I just can’t imagine.  Honestly, I do not know where I would be if it wan’t for the wonderful care I receive each week.  I’m beyond thankful.

That being said, I’ve clearly openly joined those who journey with a  #MeToo story – as one who has been sexually  harassed or assaulted.  Again I say, I am not at all happy or proud of that part of my story, yet it’s real.  Mr. Rodger’s would say “look for the helpers”, for those helpers and a few close friends I’m thankful.  I couldn’t have been and still can’t be on this journey alone – thank you!

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Gratitude Day 7

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Oops, I’m a few days late with a couple. So tomorrow I shall do two – well that will be my goal. I’ll catch up because I have a great deal to be thankful for.

So this is Sunday’s thankful post. Don’t get me wrong I love preaching and I love preaching at a variety of churches in two denominations-the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) an the Moravian Church. However, it is nice every now and then to worship with my family.

Joe, Zachary and I are members of New Philadelphia Moravian Church, where Joe is associate pastor. Sunday. I was blessed to worship with them. Hearing the Beracah Choir, the bells, the organ a blend of music and Rev. Dr. Worth Green preach.

Extra special is when Worth preaches Joe gets to sit with Zachary and I during the sermon. Now since Joe and I have been serving together that has rarely happened and definitely since Zachary has been born we have just as rarely sat together in worship. I’m thankful for moments like this and cherish them for days to come.

We are called to worship as families and what a joy and privilege that is.

Graditude Day 6

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How can one not be thankful for a lovely family like this?  I know that I’m a very grateful wife, mom, mother in law, and Oma!   It’s not often that we all get to be together (even though only a few states separate us), but when we do we make the most of it.

In just a few short hours we played hard, at the church playground, in the house, and in the backyard.  Not to mention lunch in Welcome, NC (you can ask my husband for an explanation of that).

Lauren, you where my first unborn child and I hope that you know that my love for you runs deep – wether we have formal papers to tell us we should love each other or not.  You’ll always be my little girl (even though you were 16 when you entered my life).  Thank you for sharing your precious family with me (and us), Daniel is awesome and words can not describe how much I love and adore my grandchildren Gunther and Brody.   I love you sweetie and am so thankful for the part you play in my life.  Actually, let me rephrase that – I love you more!

As an aside note, I’m super impressed and thankful that my camera, on self timer, on a tripod, set to take multiple pics, actually caught one picture with all of us mostly looking towards the camera and with semi smiles – all on the first try.  Yes with two toddlers and a bunch a silly others.

Blessings abound.

Gratitude Day 5

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Joe and I, in our early dating years and really pretty much all of our married life,have spent a lot of time in the car.  I’m talking we spent long drives in cars, before they had mega disc changers and certainly before MP3 players, iPods,and iPhones.  However,in between telling stories (some true – some not so much) we listened to a lot of music.  Of course I always wanted the music to be quiet when we were still in school so I could study (do you believe me).

Somehow, we got to listening to a lot of country music and then eventually our music taste became so eclectic we hardly knew what was up next.  We would often sing at the top of our lungs and if there was a duet between a man and a woman, you can be rest assured that we each took our turn at our parts.  Such fun times to remember — one should always be grateful for those fun times.  For those times when you laughed so hard that you can hardly remember why you where laughing.  Or in our case, when you sang so loud and for so long you can’t remember what got you singing.

Tonight coming home from dinner at some members of Joe’s church, one of those “old time” favorites came on.  Since we didn’t have Zachary with us to tell us that we couldn’t sing.  Just as if we had done it yesterday in the car, we broke out singing along with Dolly Parton and Ricki Van Shelton – Rockin’ Years (no judging we are old).   It brought sweet memories back to me, made my heart smile for a few moments, in the midst of what has seen like heavy darkness the last several weeks.

Joe Moore “my heart only has room for one.” That one woul be you!   I am so overjoyed, grateful, thankful and blessed to continue to laugh at and share memories from years gone by and new ones to come.  Maybe we should leave Zachary with Mom more often, so we can sing!  I also think that if we video taped it we would have a lengthy following on YouTube – we are awesome!

They may or may not be bettter than us.

Gratitude Day 4

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On December 21, 2005 the Moore Family changed forever!  That’s the day that this charming almost 5 pound baby entered into this world – already making silly faces.  Since that day he has been the love of his daddy and my hearts.  He rules our home and pretty much our lives.  Our lives could not be more glourious.

He entered into our lives quite suddenly, with just 6 short days to prepare for his arrival (let me say, I believe there is a reason God created women to be preganant for 9 months).  There’s a lot to do in 6 days.  However, they were 6 days filled with thanksgiving and praise.   The child we had prayed long and hard for was now about to make his arrival in the world almost unknown – yup in the ambulance, that had to pull off the highway to have 2 paramedics be able to deliver him.  He came out with zeal.

His zeal and love of life has never been dampened.   We are grateful for the way he shows compasssion for animals and people.   For the ways in which he graciously engages others in conversation and the way he strives to do his best at most everything.

He’s always loved golf, from a tiny toddler, when given the opportunity to have any toy at walmart (Grandma was brave), he wanted plastic golf clubs.  Let’s just say, his golf clubs have gotten a tad bit more expensive as the years have gone by.  Yet how thankful we are that he has taken to a sport that will serve him well in life – wherever he will go.  He’s taught important life skills along with the skills of the game.  To say, we are thankful for First Tee of the Triad is a huge understatement.  They have given him a foundation that will be built upon for many years to come.    Lastly, we are proud that he remembers his Gramps as he talks about golf or gets ready to head out to the Tanglewood to a First Tee Practice or Game.  Something that will always remind him of his Gramps –  for that keeps his memory and love alive and for that we are thankful.

We have been blessed beyond measure by this now 11 year old tween living in our house.  I thank God for him daily and pray that God will continue to direct his paths in the way he should go, making wise and sound decisions each step of the way.  Littleman, mommy and dadddy are super thankful God blessed us with you!

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Gratitude Day 3

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On June 10, 1996 this handsome young man got down on his knee and opened a boxed that had a beautiful ring in and asked me to marry him.  I’ll be honest I laughed, well, because that’s what I always do in stressful or overly exciting situations.  I’m not sure he was overly impressed with my response to his proposal.  I did however for the record joyfully say yes.  That ring he slipped on my finger is there each day to remind me off the love that we share with and for one another.  Over the years it’s taken some wear (after all it’s been 21 years)….it now has gold on the back from both of his grandmothers ring but the shape and the diamond remain the same.  I’m forever grateful for that evening, after Hebrew class, on a hot summer day in June that he was brave enough to get on his knew and ask that question.  Likely knowing full well I’d burst into laughter.

Laughter however has often seeped into our marriage – it’s kept us going at times.   SO it seems very fitting that I would laugh when he proposed.   I wasn’t laughing because it was funny, or that he was being funny or that he was messing around with me and not really giving me a ring — I knew that proposal was for real an that ring would last a life time.  Joe Moore, thanks for risking being laughed at and asking me to be your wife.  Not one minute, not one day, not one week, not one month, not one year have I regretted it.  I love you with all my heart and am grateful that God brought us together and joined our hearts!

Gratitude Day 2

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June 28, 1998 and May 16, 2004 are dates of great importance to me.  No they are not the day that Joe proposed to me and the day we got married – that would have made for a LONG engagement.

FullSizeRenderOn the first of these days I was ordained a deacon in the Moravian Church.  A day filled with joy as I officially entered into ministry that I had long since been called to.  Normally an ordination service, in the Moravian Church, happens in the afternoon so that all the local pastors can be there to celebrate with the soon to be ordained.  However, because of circumstances at the church my service was unique and was held during morning worship on June 28, 1998 by the Rev. Percy Henkleman.  As the ordinand is presented to the bishop for ordination 3 people accompany them, a member of the Provincial Elder’s Conference (the Moravian Church’s governing body), a member of the laity and a member of the clergy.  At one point, I believed that my husband, ordained just 2 weeks before, would be the clergy walking me to the alter, until one of my former pastors Rev. Steve Ghodes arrived and surprised me.  To say joy filled my heart was an understatement (I wanted Joe to be my husband and not playing duel roles, not to mention what a surprise I had just been given).  I’m forever grateful for the ministry to which I have been called.

Joe and I would go on to serve our first congregation together as co-pastors in at Palmyra Moravian Church, in Cinnaminson, NJ.  That’s part two of my gratitude.  They allowed us to learn and grow.   They accepted our short comings and rejoiced at our successes.  We were truly blessed to serve as their pastors.  When it was time for us to bid our goodbyes may tears were shed because of the work that God had allowed us to do together.  Yet, onward we had to go.

It was during our time serving at Mayodan Moravian Church (whe

re the Mayo River meets the Dan River) that we were consecrated presbyters in the Moravian church onMay 16, 2004 by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Wayne Burkette.  Perhaps the first and

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so far only consecration of a couple in the Southern Province of the Moravian Church.   This consecration service was an a
ffirmation of our ministry

in the Moravian Church and our opportunity to reaffirm our call to continued ordained ministry within the life of the church.  Joe and I remain grateful for this day and those who celebrated it with us.

Life in ministry has had it’s up’s and down’s – as with anything.  I can’t imagine doing anything but ministry.  Even though at this time, I’m not officially serving serving under call, at times, I feel as though I’m serving more under call than ever.  As I participate and chair a couple of committee’s, I preach at different church’s – both ELCA and Moravian – almost every Sunday, I teach Sunday School, and my list could go on.  As a very wise pastor recently told me: ” God has called you; God will lead you; God will open new ways to serve.”