God’s Call– Mary Miller

gods-call-mary-miller

Mary Miller
Chaplain of Covenant Village of Cromwell, Connecticut
Ordained: 1981

My Journey

My ministry has been put as “first” in many things—first North Park Seminary class with women entering pastorate, then the first woman to be called to a second church, first woman denominational officer, then first old lady pastor seeking a fresh position.

My first pastoral position was as associate at Farmington Hills, Michigan. At the time I was one of two women in the denomination who were pastoring churches. It was lonely. But ever since I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to be a minister. When the Covenant voted to affirm the ordination of women, I assumed it was part of my call into ministry.

The Challenges

It was not an easy road in the beginning years. Getting a superintendent to put my name (or any woman’s) into the mix for search committees was a challenge—as was being considered a permanent pastor by the national ministry office. It was assumed I would not be a pastor once I married, or had children, or grew tired of it, etc.

On an ecumenical retreat, I once met a retired female pastor with pure white hair and lots of wrinkles. I immediately started weeping. Only then did I realize how hard it was to not have a role model.

The Joys

When we women graduated from seminary we were thrilled about the possibility of transformation within the church. If we put a complete sentence together, we were deemed brilliant! We were probably naïve in thinking that momentum would continue, but I enjoy the joyful hope of women graduating today.

When I grew up I wanted to be:

Dale Evans until I was five, then a minister.

First live concert:

Three Dog Night singing “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog”

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