Tag Archives: ministry

Having a Kiddo in the Hospital Is Harder than Hard!

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So over at Rev Gals here is their Friday Five for this week (and yes I realize it’s Saturday)!   On RevGal’s it reads and asks us to respond to the following post:

Hospitals are very much on my mind, because my husband Chuck is having his second knee replacement on Monday. We will be there very early in the morning because he is the first surgery of the day at 7 am.

So consider your experiences in the hospital in your various capacities: being a patient; parent, child or spouse of a patient; chaplain; minister; or visitor. In what ways have you experienced your times in hospitals? Think of 5 ways and share your blog address in the comments section when you play.

  1. I remember being alone with a toddler and having been to the ER for two nights in a row because as a mom I knew something was wrong.  And more than the heart burn that the dr diagnosed it as the first night.
  2. I had someone with me the first night but my husband was away as dean of Laurel Ridge so it wasn’t easy for him to get home either night or for the week that would come.  But the second night I feel blessed in some ways because the doctor working on him had a aha type moment and tested his pancreatic enzyme levels.   And yup that was the answer to the problem.  My little guy had what we thought at the time Acute Pancreatitis.  I remember that I was devastated when they told me he would be admitted for at least a week.
  3. As a pastor I knew that they don’t admit adults or children without it being a serious issue and I was scared for his life and didn’t know what to do at midnight alone with my very sick child.
  4. Thankfully my mother in law came down from Winston-Salem (a 5 hour drive) the next day to be with me and offer me some support.  The whole thing brings tears to my eyes still.  Because other than her, one friend, and daily or multiple times a day calls from my hubby (as cell service would allow) I had no support.  No church members visited or offered to bring anything.  I felt alone a lot and all I wanted to do was cry but knew that would only get my little man a little more worked up.
  5. I remember the nurse on the day we were leaving telling me that little ones that come in with numbers that high usually don’t leave.  Meaning you guessed it they die.  I’ve never forgot it and remember it every time that the doctors fear his pancreatitis is flaring because it’s not longer acute but chronic.
  6. What parent wouldn’t be freaked out and exhausted from not getting much sleep ( sleeping in bed with their little one for a week) and wondering when he was going to start to feel better and when they would stop giving him morphine and give him real food.   But as you can see from the pictures below he did get well and we did have some play time so to speak.

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#RallyRevGals — The Heathered Edition

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Have a case of the Augusts? Not ready for the program year to start? Thinking about how you can’t save the world, or even your little corner of it? RevGals can’t fix it all either, but we can give you a reason to post to your blog!

The #RallyRevGals Blog Contest will run from Tuesday, August 18, to Sunday, August 31. 

To be eligible:

be a member of our webring,*
1. Write a blog post about a woman who has been a positive influence on your ministry (whether or not she is/was a pastor),
2. Use the tag/hashtag #RallyRevGals in your subject line as well as categories or tags on your blog,
3. Share the link in the comments on this blog post, in the comments on the accompanying Facebook group post, or on Twitter (be sure to use the hashtag so we can find your blog post).
4. Everyone who participates will be entered in a random drawing for three prizes from our Cafe Press store.

 

Here are two more women who have rallied around me and supported me in different times and stages of my ministry.  I call it the “Heathered Edition” because both of these women are named Heather.   

Let me begin with my best friend from college and my Maid of Honor.   She came from a much more conservative church tradition than I did but it never stopped the two of us from being great friends.   During our college days we did lots of things together and I can’t even begin to imagine college life without her constant presence.  She encouraged me to be the best that I could be.  If I struggled with something academically she was there to see if she could help.   She was present at my recitals and cheered me on – even when I made plenty of mistakes and was far from perfect.  She hugged me as I cried and began to grieve the painful childhood that had haunted me.  She drove 7 hours to be with me as my church blessed me and sent me off to seminary (my home church was in Western Canada and seminary was in the Eastern USA) so this was a big move for me.  But as we sat alone perhaps in the last moments we had before I moved she handed me a card and what was in that card was her tithe from her summer job.  I was completely blown away because I knew she struggled with me going off to ministry as she herself had never had a female pastor and her tradition wouldn’t have allowed for one.  Yet she believed in my call so much that she would give her tithe to me to help with my ministry costs. This was one of the greatest gifts I ever received and one that I will never forget.  An act of stepping out in faith on her part.  She later flew to North Carolina to be my Maid of Honor and honored I was that she would once again take time and her resources to make this trip. My biggest regret is that we’ve lost contact over the years.   Regardless, she definitely rallied around me and sent me off to begin my pastoral ministry with blessing, love and support.

My encounter with the second Heather came much later in my ministry.  I was already ordained and we crossed paths at a Moravian Women’s Conference held on the campus of Wake Forest.  It started out as me supporting her as she explored her own call to ministry and I was with her that week when she received word that she had been accepted at Duke Divinity School.  The encouragement and support I offered to her soon was being offered back and became a mutual relationship.  We were blessed with the opportunity to travel to Prague and Herrnhut (the motherland of the Moravian Church) together as we were both delegates to a Worldwide Moravian Women’s Consultation — Valiant Women in a Violent World.   It is this trip that brought us closer.  When you travel with someone at that level you either know you are meant to be great friends or mere acquaintances.  Obviously, we discovered and developed a deep friendship.  We’ve never lived in the same city so email, Facebook, text messages and phone calls have been our means of communication but those means have been enough to sustain a friendship that is dear to my heart.  When Heather was ordained a few years ago, I was so excited – I hadn’t experienced that excitement since my own ordination and I was blessed to be a part of her ordination service.  I loved her so dearly that I even read scripture from Ruth (long story behind that one)!   The past few years since her ordination have only deepened our bonds as we share moments of ministry – even though we serve in very different settings.  She is a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and I serve in pastoral ministry.   We both share a passion for raising awareness of mental illness in the church and teaching the church how to embrace and care for people who suffer with this often lonely disease.  But beyond that she’s been there as I’ve struggled with my depression and just a simple text or Facebook message from her can put a smile on my face and gives me reason to go on.  

Both Heather’s have been major life lines when I’ve needed them most.  I know that their relationships were and are a gift of God and I’m forever grateful for that.  I wouldn’t be half the pastor, mother, wife, or child of God if they hadn’t been there to rally around me and at times giving me the opportunity to rally around them.  For true friendship comes from mutual rallying.  Thank you God for these women who have greatly changed my life, may I be to others as they have been to me.

#RallyRevGals — Peggy Edition

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Have a case of the Augusts? Not ready for the program year to start? Thinking about how you can’t save the world, or even your little corner of it? RevGals can’t fix it all either, but we can give you a reason to post to your blog!

The #RallyRevGals Blog Contest will run from Tuesday, August 18, to Sunday, August 31.

To be eligible:

be a member of our webring,*
1.  Write a blog post about a woman who has been a positive influence on your ministry (whether or not she is/was a pastor),
2.  Use the tag/hashtag #RallyRevGals in your subject line as well as categories or tags on your blog,
3.  Share the link in the comments on this blog post, in the comments on the accompanying Facebook group post, or on Twitter (be sure to use the hashtag so we can find your blog post).
4.  Everyone who participates will be entered in a random drawing for three prizes from our Cafe Press store.

I couldn’t narrow it down to just one woman who has helped me along in my 16 years of ministry, so over the next few days I will be blogging about a few more.  But here’s today’s special woman who deserves to be upheld as someone who cared and countinues to care for me as a pastor and a person.

In every church we’ve served I’ve found that there are a couple of lay people with whom I develop a special bond with.  Usually that bond is strenghtened by their witness to me and their unconditional love and support of me as their pastor.  It’s not that they wouldn’t be honest with me but perhaps it’s because they are honest – honest with constructive criticism and honest with compliments and words of encouragement.  There was always a feeling I had that this person had my back and was praying for me. 

 As I mentioned thankfully I’ve had this at every church that my husband and I have served but a few stand out.   One of those is a lady named Peggy.  Every Sunday Peggy and her children and grandchildren where in church I knew that I would be given a hug that would fill me with the energy and the joy that I would need to face whatever may come my way till we meet again.  Along with that hug were words such as “I love you so much”, ” Your prayers are so special and sincere”, ” You have gifts for ministry and I’m glad your my pastor” etc.   We all long to hear those words but we also recgonize that being ordained and thus behind the pulpit often set us apart from hearing those words that help sustain our beings.

My bond with Peggy I believe is unbreakable.  I haven’t been her pastor in close to 10 years but her family and my family still maintain contact (her daughter and son in law are our littleman’s Godparents) and in many ways I see her as an unofficial grandma to my littleman.  I’ve sat with her through declining health of herself and her husband.  After moving away I returned (within the boundaries set and with permission) to help officiate at her Granddaughters wedding, her husbands funeral and sadly her son’s funeral.  It’s just not every day that you can do those things but when some people ask you know in your heart your meant to be there and woulnd’t be anywhere else.

Peggy is a special lady and although she is now limited in the ways that she can serve I know that she serves a risen God with a servants heart.  Every pastor should be blessed to have a Peggy in their life.  Peggy has ralleyed around me and help me to remember at times why I do what I do and who it is that I serve.  I’m so blessed to have her in my life!

 

 

Another Year

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It’s hard for me to believe that today is the last day of being 40.  Turning 41 seems like a bigger deal than turning 40.  I guess because I feel as if I have been through a year of physical challenges and the emotional ones that go along with it and at some level hope this isn’t what all years will look like.  But I’m taking this day to begin a New Years resolution of sorts – making changes in the way that I handle life around me.  Some of those changes may be a bit scary and some of them come with a sense of relief.  If I want to live another 40 years I know that it’s time to put into practice some of the very things that I tell those I pastor on a regular basis.  It’s time to do some things that refresh me and allow my energy and God’s love and grace to flow throw me.  

During the past year my life seemingly fell apart, childhood trauma hit me again and this time as a flying brick coming out of no where.  I wasn’t expecting it to rehaunt my life but it did and it forced me into a major depressive episode which led to new meds and a new therapist.  It also was the leading cause in a medical leave of absence from the church I serve.  One of the toughest things I had to do was to stop being a pastor to others and allow some to care for me.  It wasn’t long after my return to work that I had a hysterectomy and appendectomy – another tough and emotional event.   As my 40th year was drawing to a close I returned to Canada to officiate at my grandfather’s funeral.  This proved to be a time filled with great blessing and a time of sadness as I learnt new things about my family of origin and yet was blessed with a reunion of sorts with my Aunt, Uncle,and cousins and got to meet an Aunt I’d never met.  I hope that these new and reformed relationships will grow as time goes by. I celebrated my 16th year of ordination and thus faithful service to the Moravian Church – service to a God I love and a church I deeply appreciate and care for.  

So today I spent time not only looking back over the past year but more looking into the year that lies ahead.  This morning I spent some time with my counselor and I can’t begin to emphasize how much of a life saver she was as I travelled through this past year (and I can’t help but say if you are considering getting a counselor – do it, it just might save your life too but at the very least it will enrich it).  This afternoon I’ll spend some time learning about continued ways to serve the church and this evening will be topped off with some time of doing what I love to do most knitting!

As I enter a new year of life I pray that I may more fully become the person that God created and continues to create and call me to be.  I know that takes a commitment on my part to tend to myself – my whole self- body, spirit and mind.  I make this commitment and look forward to watching the ways that will help me to grow.  I look forward to creating more (hopefully finishing my first knitted sweater), coloring more, taking time to take more pictures and letting the spirit recreate and create a new in me.  I certainly look forward to enhancing my ability to minister and going on my first cruise in February with other revgals.  Lastly, I look forward to a more uplifting year filled with the peace and hope that comes when claimed as a child of God! 

 

Ash Wednesday

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It always seems Ash Wednesday sneeaks up on me no matter how prepared I think I might be.  But this year it seemed to come out of no where and not only was I not prepared for it but I wasnt feeling it either.  I just had some surgery a week ago today and have been pushing myself a bit more than I should lately.  I just want to get back to normal and go about being a pastor and not having others worry about me — usually it’s me doing the worrying about others.  

I’m blessed as many of you know to work with my husband in team ministry and I seriously contemplated asking him if he would mind if I stayed home tonight because I just didn’t think I could mange a service, even if I was just sitting with my littleman.  But something inside me, that still small voice that speaks and makes itself known spoke load and clear that I really needed to go.  So off I went next door to the church.  It was good to be seen and folks seemed happy to see me but I started to second quess listening to that voice as I sat in the pew with a growing uncomfortableness in my belly and where my incisions where.  Why had I pushed myself again I wondered — and wondered how long was it going to take me to recover again.  Up and down I went as we would stand and sit through out the liturgy and the singing of hymns.

Something shifted inside me as we came to the point in the service that my husband placed the cross on each forehead….ashes from the burnt palm branches from our last Palm Sunday Service.  The choir was singing “Create in me a Clean Heart” as the congregation was supposed to come forward as one felt lead.  The most eager and therefore the first one up was an almost 5 year old of the church.  He wanted to go all by himself and that he did.  He brought tears to many of our eyes — an eager little guy wanting to have the cross placed on his forward a sign he knew that Jesus loved him and had died for him.  I’m not sure I know all that went through his little mind as I didn’t get to talk to him but it was through him that I knew why the still small voiced urged me to church.  If we could all enter into the lenten season with such eagerness and passion.  If we could all cling to Christ’s love with no what if’s or no preconvinced ideas of what Christ should do for us instead of what we should do for Christ.  I looked around the sanctuary as this proud little boy returned to his seat where his parents still where and noticed there were a lot of tears in peoples eyes.  Children indeed have a lot to teach us adults and I’m grateful for his witness to those gathered at Fries Mememorial Moravian Tonight.  I’m blessed to be his pastor and to have watched him grow over these 2.5 years and I look forward to watching his continued growth.

 

At the end of service our younger child were finding their way up from the nursery and several of them wanted crosses on their heads also, which we gladly did.  It was wonderful that they were not afraid of the ashes but in many ways awestruck by them.  On sweet little girl who will soon be 2 got a cross on her forward and she was so proud of it that she showed it off saying “cross”.  She doensn’t have the deeper knowledge that some of the adults have but she had one thing for certain she had a cross on her forward and in time she will continue to grow into the knowledge and the love of that cross.   

So despite my intitial feelings Ash Wednesday turned out to be a moving and memorable days.  I’m sure that this Ash Wednesday is one that I will remember for years into the rest of my ministiry. It also serves to remind us that Children have a faith bigger and deeper than any of us can even begin to imagine.  And when we do hear that ever small voice so strongly urging us to go and do something, maybe we ought to listen because it’s often in those moments that our lives are forever forever changed.  Thanks be to God for using the youngest among us to remind us of a love that runs so deep that Jesus would give his life so that we might live.  Thanks be to God!  What a joy and blessing to serve such a rich church.

 

And of course how could I not include a cute selfie of my two boys:

 

Pictures taken by Kelly L. Moore of Joseph L. Moore and may not be used without written permission.

Love and Friday Five

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It’s Friday Five time over at RevGals — well I’m a day late but never to late to play.  Today’s theme is love and here’s what they say about Friday Five over on the revgals page:

Hello Gals and Pals,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know that some (a lot) of you are digging out from snow and ice and lack of electricity. We feel for you, and love you! Some of you have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. ‘Nuff said. I happen to enjoy Valentine’s Day in spite of having exactly one date ever on VD (before I was married). I love celebrating Love! So, all that is to say is that our Friday Five is to tell us about five random things that you love.

 How in the world can I limit all the things I love to 5?  Well here goes, in no particular order and I’m taking the first 5 that come to mind, now that doessn’t mean that I love these 5 more than what my next 5 might be ~ just 5 loves of mine:

1.  My Boys — my 40 something boy and my 8 year old.  They take care of me when I’m not feeling well and they plot against me at other times.  In fact they are the ones behind my valentines diner that you see pictured above.  Both of them bring such Joy to my life each day and I thank God daily for blessing my life with them.  Guess i love them so much that they tend to appear in most of my blog posts.   

2.  I love being a pastor (most of the time).  You know it’s not a job but a calling when you truly love doing what you do and when the thought of not doing it any more brings great distress.  Certainly there are times when I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into and then I remember that I haven’t gotten myself into anything that it is God who has called me and with God’s help I’ll find my way out.  Then there are times that I know I’m standing on sacred ground and am blessed beyond measure to share in the holiness of folks lives.

3.  Chocolate – I love Chocolate.  I especially love chocolate and almonds.  That’s some yummy stuff and that’s all I can say because now I want some and theres none in the house.

4.  I love the color PINK.  It makes me happy.

5.   I love fiber — not the fiber that you eat but the fiber that is used to create beautiful, unique creations.  I’m talking fiber that is spun into yarn and some woven into fabric.  I have plenty of both but tend to use the kind that is spun into yarn because I also love knitting.  Speaking of which, I’ve got some projects that are calling me name. 

Getting it together…..

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It’s been sometime that creating a blog has been floating around my mind but I just couldn’t seem to get it together.  I couldn’t come up with a name and when I did, it was taken.  Then I couldn’t get the fears out of my mind:  would I write anything that would make any sense or would anyone really read it.  So today I just decided to do it!  I didn’t have to meet anyone’s expectations (except my own), so here it goes, my entry into the blogging world!

I will likely blog about the way my passions and my life are knit together.  My passions in life are my family, different sorts of fiber (yarn and fabric), creations made by those fibers,and learning to live as a child of God’s.  Sometimes my life is enhanced by ministry or the funny antics of a growing littleman, while other times its restricted with having to follow a gluten free diet and living with chronic pain.  Regardless life is a journey and I invite you to journey with me and I pray we may learn from each other!