My time at Duke Divinity was a work made possible by a strong network that held me in the light and supported me physically, emotionally, and financially. I am forever grateful to those who gave me financial support, like the North Carolina Foundation for Christian Ministries, and will remember them wherever I go. I do not like to believe that this time at Duke would have been impossible without my husband, for we claim nothing is impossible for God, but I don’t want to know what it would have been like without Devo’s constant encouragement and willingness to journey with me. I cannot forget the support of my family as well—parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins—who saw within me a gift and nurtured it. Finally, I remember the family that God made out of many different peoples at Wintergreen OFWB, thanking them for instructing me in the way I should go, and supporting me when I chose Duke. After considering this web of connection and support, I stand in awe of our most gracious God who made it all possible.
I applied to Duke after having been encouraged by my pastor; he knew I felt a call to ministry, but was unsure what it would look like. I thought I’d figure it out by three years, but instead it felt like the doors to the church and God were flung wide open, and my ideas about possibilities in ministry were expanded. That is, I’m still discerning my vocation in the church, whether it is in a parish setting, a classroom, or communal living. Some of my areas of passion are: ecumenism, or unity amongst different denominations; interreligious dialogue as a means of evangelism, or proclamation of the good news; working for justice in our current legal system and the abolition of the prison system as we know it; welcoming the sojourner in our midst and achieving immigration reform; living in community and supporting one another in life; and sustainable and alternative ways of being in the world so that all of God’s creation is honored.
One of my favorite Fred Buechner quotations reads like this, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Thus I am exploring those deep gladnesses and passions within myself that are born of God, along with the world’s hungers and needs. Therein I trust to find my vocation, and to grow deeper in relationship with God and my sisters and brothers along the way. I hope that my gifts and graces will prove to be of use to this denomination and God’s church, God willing.