Blessed

3 comments Written on January 31st, 2017     
Filed under: Project Deborah, Testimonies and Stories
erka (2)Erika Haub is Associate Pastor at Shoreline Covenant Church in Shoreline, Washington.  Her post is number five in a series of brief stories from a group of eight women who describe their personal experience(s) in being either mentored or encouraged to follow the calling of God to become a pastor. This is part of an initiative of the Commission on Biblical Gender Equality to be known as Project Deborah. Our hope is that you might also respond to God’s “nudge” to develop a Deborah that may be in your midst.

I am struck by God’s grace to me in my own process of being called, as a woman, to pastoral ministry. It is good for me to remember the different people who, both directly and indirectly, were used by God in the formation of my own sense of calling as fully gifted to preach and lead.

There were Priscilla Pope-Levison and Jodi Mullen Fondell who served as chaplains at North Park during my years as a student there and who gave me some of my first speaking opportunities.

There was Brenda Salter McNeil who came and spoke in chapel when I was a freshman and gave me my first preaching role model.

There was David Nystrom who invited me to share his speaking time and address Covenant leaders at Midwinter, and Kristina Nystrom who invited me to share her teaching time at a Conference Women’s Retreat.

There was the house-church in Chicago that invited me to preach my very first sermon.

There were Mary Miller and Jay Phelan who took my writing seriously and gave me platforms to share it.

There were David Horner and Carl Balsam who, though we did not always see eye to eye, treated me with respect and gave me a place at the table.

There was Ginny Olson who was a friend, mentor, and ministry companion in my journey into urban ministry.

There was Art Nelson who modeled prophetic leadership and encouraged me to lead with courage.

There was Glenn Palmberg who made sure that I knew how valuable I was to my denomination.

There was Henry Greenidge, the kind of pastor I dream of being, who invited me onto his staff and into his pulpit.

There was David Greenidge who took me under his wing and walked beside me in my early development as a pastor.

There was Pastor Mike Guerrero who gave me opportunities to teach and lead in the church that raised me.

There was and is my husband, the son of a preacher-mom, who said yes to my calling at every juncture.

There were scholars and teachers at Fuller Seminary like Marianne-Meye Thompson, John Thompson, Miroslav Volf and John Goldingay who validated my call and my gifts.

There was Danny Martinez who treated me like a ministry equal while church-planting in Los Angeles.

There was Evelyn Johnson who endlessly encouraged me to be all that God had made me to be.

There was Scot McKnight who regularly profiled my writing and linked to my blog, greatly expanding my writing platform.

There was Don Robinson who told a room full of colleagues that I was one of the best preachers in our region.

There were Keith and Florence Gustafson, lifelong friends and ministry partners, who tied a red string of blessing and affirmation onto my wrist on the eve of my ordination.

And there were my parents who “opened all the windows” and believed that I could do anything.

May it be that I too would have eyes to see how I might be used to shape the hearts and dreams of those coming after me.

 

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3 comments “Blessed”

Thanks, Erika, for this heartfelt sharing of the people who have walked alongside you on this journey. Yours truly is a Deborah story.

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And now you have encouraged ME in my calling and gifting! Pay it forward!

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Erika – You have truly been given a path of favor. May it be true for other women who are discerning God’s call. Thanks for remembering and sharing about those who have walked with you during seasons of your journey.

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