This Sunday, I wasn’t actually at my church. I was away at a conference that was on a cruise ship. While my husband had his own Sunday adventure with the kids, having to take them to not just one but two churches that he serves at, I was keynoting a conference of 50 clergywomen on the open seas of the Atlantic Ocean, National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen (NAPC). Most of these women have been ordained twice if not more years than I have and yet they had invited me to share with them about what it is to live in a baptismal community in the 21st century.
It is wonderful when a baptismal community is a place where you don’t have to explain yourself. It is a place full of people that have had similar experiences and speak a vocabulary that you understand. NAPC has been that place for many clergywomen. For me, my baptismal community has been the Korean American Presbyterian Clergywomen (KAPCW). These women have been my teachers, mentors, mothers, sisters, and confidants.
I had never been on a cruise, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. I did know however that I get sea sick. It’s one thing to keynote a conference and wanting to do your best and another thing to keynote at a conference when you are unsure of your environment. Luckily, I had four of my Asian clergywomen sisters, who signed up for the cruise when they heard I was keynoting. They provided support, sanity, laughter, fun, and companionship. They were looking out for me and were there to provide me with support when I didn’t even know I would need it. They have been every part of my spiritual, professional, and personal growth over the years.
They make me a better pastor/mother. Because these sisters look out for me even before I know I need it, I am able to receive the respite and care I need and reciprocate it back to them. Thank you Marion, Mary, Ann, and Mariko.