|Me & Pastor Rae-Lynn Kingeter from Annual Conference in 2009|
This week I spent most of my days at the 195th session of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church. It is amazing to think that 195 years ago pastors, preachers, and laity gathered together to begin a tradition that would be perpetuated through generations until today. 195 years ago, even just a few decades ago, a young woman like me would not be in the line of ordained clergy that processed into the sanctuary. But this week I stood on the shoulders of great women in ministry who paved the way as I robed up to be counted among the preachers listed on the roll. (And the robe was fly too y'all ;-). Since taking my ministerial gifts down the road to the D.C. area, I hadn't seen many of my friends, colleagues, and mentors in ministry in quite some time. Many of them marveled over the tremendous growth of my hair, and my fellow natural ladies were very encouraging. My last post talked about not feeling sexy, but I've got to say that this week my sisters in ministry most certainly made me feel beautiful! I really appreciated the love and support of both my ministry and my choice to go natural. From all of the hugs and well wishes, to the way a couple of my mentors moved quickly to make sure I have what I need to move forward in my new ministry environment, this has definitely been an emotional week. This will mark the last time I celebrate the gathering of the Baltimore Annual Conference as a member of this conference, as I am transitioning to a new home in the Washington Conference. Sometimes I take for granted exactly how big a part ministry plays in my life, but this week I was reminded exactly how much the love and support of my sisters and mentors have meant to my ministry.