A Southern Pastor: A New Kind Of Flock

I attend seminary; it’s a hybrid program where we attend most of our classes online. We do huge amounts of reading and participate in lengthy group discussions on a daily basis. But once during every quarter, we all travel to Denver and attend Gathering Days.

Gathering Days bring each class together for 8 intensive hours of face-to-face instruction. It is exhaustive…and amazing!

We come from all over the United States and all walks of life. Several are young, recent undergraduates, and many more are middle-age and come from previous vocations; we have lawyers, teachers, accountants, and more.

We come from all walks of faith and some of no faith at all. Among us are Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, UCCs, UUs, agnostics, Pagans, Wiccans, and more.

And we love each other.

We discuss issues of discrimination, social justice, theology, history, salvation, and sacred texts. None of us come from the same background or beliefs, yet we have open, respectful, engaging discussions about the things we feel most passionately about. And we do it with acceptance and love.

This is how we change the world. This is how we work together and make a difference in moving toward a world of peace and hope. Here in our little circle of seminarians, we embody the model of a humanity which accepts and loves without expectation or judgement, and who focus on what they agree on rather than what might be their differences.

I am honored to be included in this intelligent, engaging, and loving group. You teach me so much about how to be a spiritual human being. And I know that it is in groups such as these that healing for the brokenness of this world will be found.

Many Blessings!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work.10 If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up!

Melanie Tubbs is a professor, pastor, mother, Mimi, and true Arkansas woman. She lives with nine cats and one dog on a quiet hill in a rural county where she pastors a church and teaches history at the local university. Her slightly addictive personality comes out in shameful Netflix binges and a massive collection of books. Vegetarian cooking, reading mountains of books for her seminary classes, and crocheting for the churches prayer shawl ministry take up most of her free time, and sharing the love of Christ forms the direction of her life. May the Peace of Christ be with You.