As I come to you, members of Highland Baptist Church, I am humbled to take on the servant role as one of your deacons for the 4th time. I have had a lot of history here at Highland these last 33 years.
I have been a faithful follower of Jesus Christ all my life. I first came to Highland Baptist Church in 1976 for nine months with my late husband, John, when we were in our twenties and Don Burke was pastor. I joined as a Birthright Quaker from the Religious Society of Friends where I had been very active as a youth and a college student. I was from a silent Friends background; worshipping in silence; listening and waiting for the Spirit; and active with social justice issues. We were both searching for a church with good Bible study classes, fellowship with other Christians, and a good choir. John’s work then took us away from Highland Baptist Church for six years, but we returned in 1983.
My lifelong spiritual journey has been blessed by both my Quaker and Baptist affiliations. I never really envisioned myself as a leader of my church, but I know that am. I have had many role models of good and faithful servants. And the ones I aspired to be like really lived out their faith with their lives. I have served in many ways at Highland. I have been a member of the choir, the Highland Winds, a member of various committees, i.e. Hospitality & Youth, a long-standing Worship Care worker, a substitute Bible study class teacher, and have served in various roles in the WMU. In 1995, I was first asked to serve as a deacon at Highland Baptist Church.
I can say that my spiritual journey has been an amazing one; one that I am glad I didn’t miss. Learning about God and trying to live as an apprentice of Jesus has challenged me and has enriched my life. There are several life events that continue to be life-changing for me. They are the following:
- My 44 years of marriage with my best friend, John Sims and his death in May 2016.
- The birth of my daughter, Molly and, now her children, Ainsley and Zeke.
- My 41-year career as a registered nurse and my work as a pediatric intensive care nurse.
- Several international medical mission trips and now my volunteer opportunities at Supplies Over Seas.
- Lastly, I have been active for years in a Spiritual Formations Group called Renovare. I first attended a Renovare workshop in 1997, led by the founder Richard Foster. This group has challenged me to grow spiritually by practicing many spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, reading of the scriptures, doing acts of service, exercising my spiritual gifts, working for justice, and sharing my faith. Through this organization, I have been introduced to so many religious scholars. And because of my commitment to Renovare, I have grown spiritually.
So, I am humbled to take on the servant role as one of your deacons. I have tried to be a good and faithful servant by ministering in ways that fit who I am. As a deacon, I know I will be challenged in new ways. I covet your prayers for all of us serving as deacons for you the members of Highland Baptist Church.