Friday, January 17, 2014


Once upon a GA camp, two other staffers and I wrote letters to the Southern Baptist Convention. We declared our independence and discontent. We said farewell, quietly. The letters were buried at an undisclosed camp location. There was a plastic box, shovels and ceremonial fanfare. A heavy downpour might have unearthed those letters by now. I used to worry about it.

I had someone tell me, "You can go be a part of those 'Cooperative Baptists', but really they are just the SBC in nicer ties." Back then, I didn't believe it. Now, I think the person who told me was basically right.

Ram Dass said, "We're all just walking each other home."

photo by ellen frances sanders

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Seven years ago I worked really hard to prove my call was endorsed by every Biblical scene. I have books dedicated to feminist interpretations of the messy stories theologians and busybodies use to prove women can't be pastors. My books existed to demonstrate they could. The Syrophoenician Woman . . . no problem. Jesus was trying to teach his disciples a lesson. Hagar, Tamar and the Daughter of Jephthah, I had explanations that encouraged finding hope in those passages. Really, hope in the victimization of Hagar and the dismemberment of the nameless? 
That was then. About one year ago I realized I didn't have to make my story fit within the purview of   the Bible. I labored to squeeze myself into passages where I simply did not fit. In my moment of realization I breathed deeply knowing there was room for me in the margins. I like the margins, I would rather be there anyway.

In seminary I learned to weigh biblical truths against the whole of the Bible. I was to read scripture in context and against a backdrop stretched from Genesis to Revelation. Even still, that canvas is bloody and often excludes women. Regardless, my story, my call, my Imago Dei is not solely defined by archaic texts written by mere mortals. This makes me heretical. This makes me happy. This is now.