This weekend has been an experience for which I was called and yet, honestly, would never have anticipated.
As a teenager, I used to joke about becoming the first female Australian Anglican priest. Women priests were something that I couldn’t even imagine. Little did I know that the Movement for Ordination of Women – a dedicated and faithful group of women and men – were working towards this very thing. Even once women were ordained, it took some time for me to recognise that this idea that would niggle in the back of my mind, that kept coming back, that I would light heartedly bat away, was indeed a call that would continue and amplify.
During that time I married, and with my husband Garth, built a career, a marriage, and a family. I was blessed by my profession, eventually serving both as QEII Jubilee’s Director of Speech Pathology and then as a Lecturer in Speech Pathology at the Australian Catholic University. It took a lightening bolt moment, and the encouragement of my church family at St Bartholomew’s Mt Gravatt, to guide me to our Diocese’s Seekers’ Day and then into Discernment, then Formation.
My years at St Francis College were wonderful. The academic staff were skilled in supporting students to wrestle with difficult concepts, and were gracious as we stretched and consolidated. I have deepened my love for scripture, and deepened in my prayer life. Personally, I think I became far more confident with ambiguity, with difference, knowing in all things we begin by first loving God, following Jesus, and serving and encouraging others along the way.
Ordination, for me, is as much (if not more) about the community that shares this journey as it is about my personal journey. Stepping out as Deacon at the beginning of this year was an astonishing experience. Presiding for the first time this weekend was an unforgettable moment. In both these experiences, being with the community in the room and online, together with our Lord, was tangibly powerful. It is my privilege to serve the community as, together, we seek to deepen our understanding, love, and journey with God.