“One of our dearly held modern shibboleths is that we are all equal. The truth is that God does indeed love each of us equally, and invites each of us, equally, into the kingdom, into salvation, into right relationship, into wholeness. But too often there is a negative side to this cliché that all Friends are equal. This is the attitude that adds, if anyone stands out or thinks he or she has a gift or calling, we’ll pull that person down. If such a person is arrogant or on a power-trip, then it is right to admonish and try to help the Friend see his or her gift and role in the larger context of Gospel Order. But what if a Friend is paying close attention to God’s voice, and living with increasing integrity and love and for that reason others feel uncomfortable? How do we regard someone who is exercising gifts given by God for the edification and upbuilding of the faith community? Too often deep vocal ministry, a prophetic voice, or moral leadership are resented.” Martha Paxson Grundy, Tall Poppies: Supporting Gifts of Ministry and Eldering in the Monthly Meeting.
It is no longer the general practice to record ministers. Nonetheless a Monthly Meeting may, with the approval of its Committee on Worship and Ministry, record as a minister a member who is recognized as having been called to such service.
I was overwhelmed and my tears flowed. To have my inward calling to ministry affirmed after so many years released a flood of emotions within me. Mixed with joy was sadness because we were to move from there to Richmond, Indiana within a couple of weeks, and I would be leaving this meeting that had affirmed my calling. I also feared I would be left without a meeting that could oversee my ministry and hold me accountable.
We want to note that Ann M was recorded as a minister by Chester River Meeting (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) and then by Clear Creek Meeting (Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting) and West Richmond Meeting (Indiana Yearly Meeting). While South Bend Friends is not in the tradition of naming or recording ministers, we gladly note this fact of Ann's life.
[From the research paper I wrote for the School of the Spirit on the stories of women from different branches of Friends who have been recorded as ministers.]