Dianne Glave: Ministry & Church

Posts tagged ‘United Methodist Church’

A Silver Lining: Race, Racism, & Ethnicity

In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:28, The Message)

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Hey, I am the first to say I don’t view church life through rose-colored glasses. I’m a pretty practical feet-planted-on-solid-ground person. So it makes sense I am guarded but hopeful about all of the modern issues concerning race, racism, & ethnicity in the US.

This month’s conversation, perhaps this year’s conversation concerning race relations took place on the street outside the church. I walked out of the church to be greeted by the street’s handy-man. He did odd jobs at the parsonage over the last several months. He texted me every holiday.

Well, today, he was landscaping a neighbor’s yard. He pulled himself up from his knees and crossed the street to talk to me.

He said, “I hear you are leaving. Is it because you wanted to get away from us white folks.”

I responded, “No, I’m actually headed to serve at another church so I have some new white folks.”

I went on to explain some of the internal financial issues at the current church that led to my new appointment.

ImageAs I walked away, I said to myself, “My how SOME things have changed.” Just 10, maybe even 5 years ago, an African American woman appointed to a United Methodist Church would have to assume that the congregation did not want her and there would be attempts to drive her from the church, instead of people wanting her to stay on. Even today, that is still the case.

ImageEveryone once in a while people surprise you. And I can say I was happily surprised by my first appointment as a United Methodist pastor in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. Good people . . . good church.

We still have much to do, but thankfully there are silver linings.

The Glow, the Shine: Local Pastor Licensing School

The Scripture Reading Comes From Exodus 34:29

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the two Tablets of The Testimony, he didn’t know that the skin of his face glowed because he had been speaking with God. (The Message)

Moses came down from Mount Sinai. He had the two tablets of the covenant in his hands. His face was shining because he had spoken with the Lord. But he didn’t realize it. (New International Version)

Our Beloved Leader and Facilitator!

I am moving to the end of Local Pastor Licensing School through the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist. At school, I learned much ranging from worship to administration.

Before arriving at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center in Ludlow, Pennsylvania, I looked at the syllabus. The thing that jumped out was we were in class for 12 1/2 hours per day for 11 days. The number 40 came to mind, which I often interpret as endurance during difficult times. Paraphrasing some scripture consider a few biblical examples:

  • It rained 40 days and nights when God cleansed the world with water, a global flood. (Genesis 7:12)
  • After the flood, Noah waited 40 days for the flood to subside. (Gen 8:6)
  • Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-2)

Oh the 40 (days and nights) kept ringing in my head during school. Exhaustion crept up on me. I got cranky with my classmates who thankfully loved me despite of my human frailty.

It’s Day 9 and I think I’m feeling the glow, the shine. That’s not me: that’s the Holy Spirit.

Through the tough times, the 40 days, the 11 days, try to rest in the testing and growth.

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Photographs by Dianne Glave

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