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Are we there yet?

The United Methodist Church is still on the journey to full participation of women in the life of the church.  Are we there yet?  Not quite.

Rev. Laurie Haller

Thirty-five years ago, The United Methodist Church had open hearts, open minds and open doors and welcomed me into the fold with open arms.  I found a new home and transferred my ordination credentials to The United Methodist Church in 1987.

This is not to say that I haven’t had my moments of struggle as a clergywoman in a traditionally male profession.

Like many of my colleagues, I have occasionally been bullied, insulted, dismissed and threatened and have experienced sexual harassment.  People have made comments about my clothes, shoes, accessories and hair.  Yet, most of the time I have been shown grace upon grace.  In every appointment, I have gained new skills, grown in my faith, partnered with laity in creating vital ministry and have had the privilege of walking with parishioners through the most devastating, beautiful and sacred times of their lives.

I have been accepted for who I am and have learned to be kind and understanding with those who are uncomfortable with a female in a clergy role.  Most congregation members eventually realize that the most important quality of their pastor is not their gender but their ability to motivate, inspire and courageously lead their congregation into the future God has in store for them.

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Last Updated on October 30, 2023

The Michigan Conference