Michelle Harris

Wilmington, DE

"My love for the Church began at a very young age when I helped my grandfather at his parish. I remember standing on the threshold of the altar from the sacristy and being told I wasn't allowed on the altar with my grandfather. My 6-year-old self stood in awe at all I saw, obeying and never wondering "why?" My love for the Church turned into a love of faith, a love that spoke of God's call to ministry. I have been ministering within our parish community for 35 years having a number of different titles and responsibilities. It was in year 14 that the full realization of my call to the diaconate broadsided me. I was attending an ordination of our newest parish deacons, recognized that I was feeling angry and then started to cry as the prayer for consecration began. And I couldn't stop. The realization that I had the same gifts and talents, the same education, the same passion and love for Jesus was not enough. I am not enough because I am a woman. I am now a pastoral minister at our parish, a title I had to fight for because it was too close to "pastoral associate." Despite the continual prejudices, I love the history, ritual and all embracing vision that is proclaimed in scripture by Jesus who called women and men. When the day arrives, no matter how old I am, I will seek out the ministry in which I can serve by preaching, baptizing, burying and witnessing marriages. Until that time, I will continue to serve by blogging my reflections, bringing old and young to the saving power of Jesus Christ, supporting those who have lost a loved one and helping to prepare couples for the sacredness of a covenant life together. I am a non-ordained, unofficial and non-sanctioned deacon in my heart and for the people of faith in which I serve."
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