Where were you born?
When and how did you come to know Jesus Christ?
My walk with God began at a very young age. I remember when I was two standing under a tree and pouring out my heart to God. Visiting Catholic cathedrals in San Francisco with my grandmother always filled me with a sense of awe and reverence. This began my lifelong journey of knowing God and loving him. Through growing up in a United Methodist Church and faithfully attending Sunday School, I grew in knowledge of Jesus. Through one pastor, the testimony of one family at church, friends in high school, and further experiences at college, my relationship with Christ became more personal—no lightning bolt moment when I was “saved”—just a gradual deepening of my faith and an understanding of what it meant to be a Christian and specifically how to live as a disciple of Jesus.
Describe your personal journey that led you to ordination. Include education, training, mentoring, service, and giftedness.
God has had me on this journey for a long time; I just did not know through most of my life where the path was leading. I grew up in Carson City, NV and went to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. There I met and married my husband Hugh as an undergraduate in 1970. I earned my B.A. in English and Communication Arts in 1972. My first job when we moved to Los Angeles for Hugh to attend UCLA Law School was as the secretary for the Chaplain at UCLA Hospital. That was an eye-opening, maturing experience for a sheltered, small town girl. I learned to minister to and love patients and their families as they went through horrible crises and either clung to or questioned God.
Between 1976 and 1988 we had our four children. We always went to church, even when we first dated, although I had a few theological differences with the Baptist churches of Hugh’s family. From 1980 to 2007 we served at Bel Air Presbyterian Church where we were very involved in the life of the church and experienced true Christian community. I learned the power of servant leadership and became passionate about what impact it can have on the people leading and growth of the people being led. Through my volunteer work in virtually every area of the church, God was training me and preparing me for his call to ministry that would come so many years later. At Bel Air we met the Dr. Rev. Gary Wilburn, and he later taught me much about ministry as I worked with him on his sermons. In 2007 I became his editor for three books and then completed his fourth book after his death in 2010.
In 2007 we began attending Verdugo Community Church where I immediately felt theologically at home. Moreover, we had found a church home where people, and women in particular, were totally valued and empowered in ministry. In August 2010 Sr. Pastor Anny Genato said she felt I was being called to ordained ministry. When I shared this with Hugh, his enthusiastic validation and support and the confirmation of others affirmed my call. I have been taking classes, networking, developing relationships both as the mentee and the mentor, pastoring, and always deepening my relationship with God through prayer and study. In 2013 Pastor Dale Winslow began to mentor me as an Apollos candidate, further enriching my preparation. I had long been aware of my spiritual gifts, but it was StrengthsFinders that showed me the unique individual I am. The things that help me see each person as an individual and how they are connected to others are my strengths and assist me to facilitate reconciliation and personal development in others. Since I answered God’s call, I can truly say that it is the first time in my life that “I feel comfortable in my own skin and confident in who I am as a woman of God.”
Describe how you intend to fulfill your ordination vows.
I can confidently say that I have been called to pastor. I have a passion for Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. I love the Scriptures, and it is a privilege to teach and preach the Word of God and so humbling to celebrate the sacraments. I want to be personally obedient to the Lord in all the areas of my life so that I continue to grow and mature in my own faith. I will continue to equip myself through study and prayer so that God can always use me to make and shepherd disciples, helping them to know the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in their lives to become the people God created them to be, wherever and however he calls me to serve.