Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


Exactly two years ago I was feeling the heat. It was time to double down. Ordination papers would be due in early December. The Vocation and Leadership committee—candidates sit before this one and three others—wanted to know how I defined myself as a leader.

Question 1: “What is the vision of ministry inherent in your call?

I see my call to ministry as a call to midwifery. The church is a delivery room. God can use me to bring forth life.

Midwives are trained and often seasoned, but never robotic. They are acutely aware of their surroundings. Every birth is different. People send for them. They are trusted co-laborers.

Midwives enjoy special bonds with others who do what they do. They are uniquely present to unspeakable moments of beauty and tragedy. Where they go and when is not always predictable. They are responders, and therefore see their practice as intertwined with human need.

And then: “What Bible stories inform your vision and its ministry?”

I marvel at the way Puah and Shiphrah were able to address Pharaoh (Ex 1:19). I also look to Rachel, who dies while giving birth, for the work of midwives is serious (Gen 35:16-20). One other story through which I see my ministry is Moses’. As he births a new people, I see God acting as the great obstetrician.

Among the sentences I composed then, one in particular leaps out as if to demand that I pay it some fresh mind. I will have the privilege of helping them “push”.

Who is this “them”? Um. That would be parishioners, brothers and sisters in Christ,co-laborers—you. And thus, the litmus test: If I come and go from this place and all appears barren…that’ll spell failure.

Am I saying that you are pregnant? Maybe. Do I know or do I think you know what you are carrying? Not necessarily. Am I suggesting some thought on the matter? Yes!

Not for me, but for the God who says not if, but when you act as midwives (v.20). ’The vision of ministry inherent in my call’ may not be mine. It may well be ours

UncategorizedRachel May