I participated in the 2016 Leading Women conference during a season of vocational discernment. Reflecting with other women about how God might be calling me to serve the church expanded my notion of what was possible. The discussions which took place during the conference were both challenging and energizing. I gained answers to some of my questions and I left with a new set of questions to consider. I also formed relationships with women from across the church. I am grateful for the space to engage in thoughtful and prayerful conversations.
Sierra, Diocesan Staff
Attending the Leading Women conference enhanced my vocational identity in tremendous ways. The relationships formed at this gathering continue to bless my ministry in profound and unexpected ways. There is so much wisdom in the room! I highly encourage you to apply and participate in this phenomenal offering.
I came to Leading Women while on sabbatical in the midst of discernment. At that point, I had been the Rector of Trinity, Newtown CT for 20 years. My bishops had submitted my name to a few Bishop Search processes and I eventually pulled out, not feeling called to the Episcopate. When I sat in on the Bishops Group at Leading Women, I was convinced I was not called. Then I sat in on the Deans Group and I was intrigued. I shared my interested in exploring this call with my bishop, Ian Douglas, who promptly picked up the phone and called the Bishops in two diocese that were looking for a Dean for their cathedral. I applied to both and within 3 months was called to St. Louis. This call continues to unfold in ways that affirm what I came to feel as I sat and listened to those who are now blessed Dean colleagues. I give thanks for Leading Women and all who labor to offer it and those who come ready to share, listen, guide and mentor.
Leading Women strengthened my leadership in three powerful ways. First, it was helpful to hear about the work of large church rectors, cathedral deans, diocesan staff, and bishops from people directly involved with those ministries. Second, I learned a great deal about the process of searching and offering oneself for ministry. Through interview coaching and through reviewing of OTM’s, cover letters, and resumes, I’ve been able to support other women in their search processes. Third, I appreciated the opportunity to network across denominational and regional boundaries. I met people I would not have met otherwise, and it was helpful to hear about the work of the church throughout all of our provinces. Thank you for these gifts!