There is much history behind this name!
First the GirlRev part:
It starts with the fact that I am a second career female pastor. My first career was in marketing communications and lasted until my mid 30s. Why a career change?
Let’s back up a few years. I cannot remember a time when I did not believe in God. I can however, remember that when I was in my teens and early 20s I didn’t much like Christians, or want to be around them. I did not belong to a church or have any real desire to belong to a church.
But interestingly enough, when my children were old enough to begin school I chose to place them in a Lutheran (or Christian) school. It sounds odd in retrospect but I had a very small connection with a Lutheran church, the school had a good reputation for good academics, and the child care options were better than what was then available in a public school.
Through this I became much better acquainted with Christians of the Lutheran persuasion and discovered that by and large they were very nice people and didn’t at all fit within my stereotype of Christians as judgmental and mean. One thing led to another and I began participating in worship, bible study, and other activities in the church. I eventually quit my regular job and started working for Trinity Lutheran Church in Simi Vally part time.
As one who is always trying to learn, I also decided to take some classes at Fuller Seminary… so that I could learn more about faith. As I continued on this educational journey (combined with part time church work) I began to experience the call towards pastoral ministry. This was a very difficult time for me because I was, at the time, the Lutherans that I hung out with didn’t (and still don’t) believe that women can serve a pastors.
After much discernment I realized that my call to pastoral ministry was valid and because of this I had to leave my church. I eventually joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and now serve as a pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and Preschool in Oxnard, CA.
About that license plate: a few years ago, my husband and I bought a convertible Mini Cooper. It’s a great car for the beach cities of Oxnard and Ventura! After buying this car I decided to get a personalized license plate. Of course then I had to decide what it would say, and after much thought I settled on “grl rev”. Or translated: girl pastor! One person commented to me that it should say woman rather than girl, but I say that we women can say “you go girl!” to one another with great enthusiasm.
And the “Running” Part?
I’ve always tried to stay active…and I’ve always struggled with my weight. These topics will be covered in future posts. When I began working as a pastor I clearly wasn’t doing what I needed for self care and my weight ballooned. Then about three years ago my son and I went on a hike at La Jolla Canyon (Santa Monica Mountains). This hike had me huffing and puffing up a hill and wondering if I’d even make it to the top. Then, two women passed by us at a nice easy run, chatting the whole time.
I decided right then that I had to get back into shape. We completed our hike and a few days later (had to recover!) I started run/walking. Since then I’ve completed a few 5ks, one 10k, 4 half marathons, and one marathon. My next marathon with be in a bit less than three weeks (Ventura Marathon, September 13).
I’ve discovered that running has been helpful in more ways than health and fitness. For me it is a way of prayer and meditation. I discovered it is great sermon prep time as I have miles and miles to think about everything! And… it is hard, and I love it!