The Center for Leadership Excellence, in partnership with COSROW, is pleased to lift up the voices of women in ministry encouraging fellow women in ministry. Please enjoy this month’s Encouragement from Marisol Hernández, pastor at Wesley Memorial UMC in Raleigh, NC. Anyone can sign up to receive these monthly emails here.
Women in ministry; we are many, yet we are one. Everything in the world is connected together. Nothing stands on its own. This unity of things is backed up by science and also beautifully explained by Paul with the metaphor of the unity of the Body of Christ. The body works due to the uniqueness of its parts and the connectedness of its efforts.
Read: Corinthians 12:18-20
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
Being a woman in ministry should not be a solitary experience. It is key to recognize that we cannot do it alone. When we try to heroically do this alone, when we seek our own private enlightenment journeys, the body will not stand for long. Trying to balance ministry, family life, our own suffering, plus the suffering of others within our congregations is not an easy task. However, when we carry our suffering, when we share our experiences with other women in ministry, we know that we all are in this together and it is just as hard for everybody else. When we acknowledge that, it softens the way we relate to others. When we can share our struggles with other women, we are held and supported by the strength of a robust body which stands together to continue functioning, even when one of its parts needs to slow down.
The same way the Mystery of the Trinity reveals it —God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, none of them operate alone —women in ministry are called to grow, mature, and nurture each other. When we enter into a relationship, we form a diverse, solid, colorful body —a body able to understand and learn many languages and yet communicate through love, a body able to climb the highest mountains and also able to sit still to pray. The richness of our experiences and the uniqueness of our gifts bond us together; only through our differences and in our connectedness can we form the body. We are one and yet we are many. We are multicolored leaves growing from the same branch.
Reflect: Think of ways in which other women in ministry have supported you. Which examples of connectedness among women in ministry can you think of?
Take Action: Reach out to that new pastor, to other women in ministry who come from a different culture, to other clergy women beyond your usual circle of friends. Connectedness is a gift from God. Let’s stand together.
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women
Check out these events open to women clergy and laity alike.
Just Energy 4 All Monthly Webinar
(United Women in Faith)
August 17, 2022
(United Women in Faith)
August 18, 2022
Biblical Faith Regarding Women
August 22, 2022