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Last week I got the opportunity to attend the Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR) national meeting in St. Louis, MO. I’ve heard of them though my friend and mentor Pastor Gary, but with not much exposure to the actual organization. It was an amazing experience to be at the event and learn more and more about the organization through casual conversations. BMCR was birthed out of the civil rights movement in the 60’s. The organization is a long-standing advocacy channel for black clergy within the UMC.
While there I was able to attend the black clergywomen luncheon. Talking amongst ourselves I heard the story of one fabulous woman, who’s name I sadly don’t remember, about her struggles within the system of the church to find a place for her to serve in her rural, mostly white conference area. I sat and listened amazed. It reminded me of my time with Rev. Perla while I was still in the Philippines, who was the first woman to graduate from seminary in her area of the Philippines, and who also struggled in finding a church to pastor because of her gender.
The parallel between the struggles of these two women became crystal clear to me. I had somehow unconsciously become detached from the reality of the struggles that women who look like me had to go through only a few years ago. Hearing the stories and accomplishments, but also the struggles and hardships of these beautiful brown women was a reminder of hurdles that still need to be crossed. 
I can remember someone I admire asking me not long ago, ‘so what are you going to do about it?’ …I’ll leave it there because I’m still working on figuring that out.

Last week I got the opportunity to attend the Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR) national meeting in St. Louis, MO. I’ve heard of them though my friend and mentor Pastor Gary, but with not much exposure to the actual organization. It was an amazing experience to be at the event and learn more and more about the organization through casual conversations. BMCR was birthed out of the civil rights movement in the 60’s. The organization is a long-standing advocacy channel for black clergy within the UMC.

While there I was able to attend the black clergywomen luncheon. Talking amongst ourselves I heard the story of one fabulous woman, who’s name I sadly don’t remember, about her struggles within the system of the church to find a place for her to serve in her rural, mostly white conference area. I sat and listened amazed. It reminded me of my time with Rev. Perla while I was still in the Philippines, who was the first woman to graduate from seminary in her area of the Philippines, and who also struggled in finding a church to pastor because of her gender.

The parallel between the struggles of these two women became crystal clear to me. I had somehow unconsciously become detached from the reality of the struggles that women who look like me had to go through only a few years ago. Hearing the stories and accomplishments, but also the struggles and hardships of these beautiful brown women was a reminder of hurdles that still need to be crossed. 

I can remember someone I admire asking me not long ago, ‘so what are you going to do about it?’ …I’ll leave it there because I’m still working on figuring that out.

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STL

STL

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Hey St. Louis! #BMCR2014

Hey St. Louis! #BMCR2014

Tags: bmcr2014
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I got to sit down for a conversation with Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the California Pacific annual conference this afternoon. I remember sitting in a meeting she was conducting when I was in LA, before I entered the program. She is an amazing woman, what an honor! 

I got to sit down for a conversation with Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the California Pacific annual conference this afternoon. I remember sitting in a meeting she was conducting when I was in LA, before I entered the program. She is an amazing woman, what an honor! 

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I read one of eight monologues this Sunday at church (Church of the Village). They tied together strong biblical women characters with strong women of modern times. This was done in celebration of Women’s History Month. I got to read the part of Esther, whose story is near and dear to me. A good day indeed :) 

I read one of eight monologues this Sunday at church (Church of the Village). They tied together strong biblical women characters with strong women of modern times. This was done in celebration of Women’s History Month. I got to read the part of Esther, whose story is near and dear to me. A good day indeed :) 

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*This is a screenshot from a Buzzfeed article titled “23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You Move To NYC”…This pretty much sums it up.*
Trying to find an apartment in New York City is like trying to find a job shortly after the financial crash of 2008, not impossible, but pretty darn challenging. Of course I never expected it to be easy. Before I started my actual search here in the city I had this feeling that God was going to open up the heavens and send me the perfect place that would fit into my small budget, and be relatively close to my office. Two weeks in and that hasn’t happened yet.
There are obstacles to overcome in finding my own place; 1. Definitely probably not making the required 40 times the rent on my humble missionary salary and 2. Not having rental history for the last two years while I was abroad. These are big obstacles, but I still have faith that I’m going to find the perfect place. I know it’s only been two weeks, it isn’t time to start stressing out yet. But seeing that I’ve been in major transition and living out of suitcases for the past two months, I’m more than ready.
I feel like when I see it, I’ll know it. Is that crazy? …Back to stalking listings on Craigslist until I find ‘the one’…wish me luck!  

*This is a screenshot from a Buzzfeed article titled “23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You Move To NYC”…This pretty much sums it up.*

Trying to find an apartment in New York City is like trying to find a job shortly after the financial crash of 2008, not impossible, but pretty darn challenging. Of course I never expected it to be easy. Before I started my actual search here in the city I had this feeling that God was going to open up the heavens and send me the perfect place that would fit into my small budget, and be relatively close to my office. Two weeks in and that hasn’t happened yet.

There are obstacles to overcome in finding my own place; 1. Definitely probably not making the required 40 times the rent on my humble missionary salary and 2. Not having rental history for the last two years while I was abroad. These are big obstacles, but I still have faith that I’m going to find the perfect place. I know it’s only been two weeks, it isn’t time to start stressing out yet. But seeing that I’ve been in major transition and living out of suitcases for the past two months, I’m more than ready.

I feel like when I see it, I’ll know it. Is that crazy? …Back to stalking listings on Craigslist until I find ‘the one’…wish me luck!  

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Mission in Manhattan

It’s been way too long since the last time I posted an update. I have been going non-stop since I stepped foot in the United States at the end of January. I haven’t really gotten a chance to slow down, breath, or process all that I’ve experienced in the last two years. I did however get the chance to speak to a number of AMAZING churches over the last month who support the missions of the United Methodist Church. Whether for five minutes or 30 minutes I really enjoyed being able to connect with several congregations from Texas to California including:

St. Luke ‘Community’ United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church Alvord

Holman United Methodist Church

Rosewood United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church Pasadena

Faith United Methodist Church

St. Marks United Methodist Church

I’m now officially in New York City for phase two of my mission commitment. I start my new assignment as Mission Communicator in the communications department of Global Ministries tomorrow morning. I will also be working with Church of the Village (‘a Progressive United Methodist Church’) as the coordinator of community engagement.

I’m sooooo excited for this next year and a half of mission, I’m happy to be in a position to continue reaching out and connecting with churches and people. I’m anxious to soak in all there is to learn in this new season. Ultimately, I’m just really happy.  

I’m a (young adult) missionary in Manhattan! Stay tuned :) 

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A short (and unfortunately incomplete due to my lack of picture taking) visual story of my last 30 days or so.

I randomly ran into one of my besties in JFK (??!!). I was welcomed home to Dallas by my parents and some amazing friends who came to greet me late on a Wednesday night. Got to spend some QT with my loves; my ladies. Spend a few days at the beach. Spoke to a number of congregations about my mission experience in the Philippines! Met some cute little babies who were born while I was away, including my niece Giovanni (not pictured) who was born on 12-12-12 (!!). Spent time catching up with some amazing people in Cali, from blood family, to church family, to mentors, to sorors, to BFF’s, to comrades, and many, many more. Got to be a proud auntie at the cutest dance recital ever. Officially turned the page to the next chapter— Phase 2 of mission service, which I’ve affectionately named: Mission in Manhattan.

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Hey Dallas

Hey Dallas

Finger Peace Sign