Jean C. Reinhold

Ruling Elder, Ordained 2009.

For the longest time, I attended Forest Hill Presbyterian Church without joining.  I sat on the edge of the pew, always near the window, looking at the sky, watching the common finches fly in and out of the berry trees.

For fifteen years, I worshipped and, occasionally, I would be asked to help: youth discussion groups, Youth Sunday, or leading the church in prayer. But, I could not make a commitment.  Part of that inability to make a commitment to my church was because I had not made a commitment to myself.  A commitment to be fully who I am.  I could go into details, but all I really need to say is that God’s people — my friends at Forest Hill Church — helped me speak with God, know God, and become fully who God was yearning for me to be.  In one fell swoop, I came out, joined the church, asked to become an elder, was ordained,  and then began to use my gifts — those given to me by good grace and a good God — to do.  To be active. To better serve God, to better serve myself.

My church has always welcomed me being me, and now that I have let me be me too, I am without fear.  It is with the greatest thanks that I can now lead retreat workshops, give an occasional sermon, prepare the communion feast, or speak my truth at a Presbytery meeting.  God has always held me in the palm of God’s hand, but because I was able to be ordained in a church that loves me, all of me, God has released me into the world.  A sparrow, flying now in a life that was once landlocked, knowing — and so grateful — that God has been, is, and will always be watching over me.

Read Jean’s blog, Common Graces.

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