I posted this note earlier today in a closed discussion group for people who support women in ministry and promote their full affirmation in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. I’m re-posting it outside the group so that I can share it with the person I wrote about.
Thank you, Ann, for your encouragement, rooted-ness, patience, and service.
“Every week, Pr. Ann Roda writes a short column that’s part of our congregational bulletin. This was this week’s column. (It fits in with the ministerial team’s sermon series on discipleship for January-February.)
“When I say ‘I support the ordination of women in Adventism,’ I have ministers like Ann in mind. And on those occasions when I’m tempted to abandon the wider Adventist community—this is my family and my family knows exactly how to wear a sister out—I imagine not knowing people like Ann, I shudder a bit, and I take a nap instead.
“I would challenge [Ann] on describing any role in the Church as 1st/2nd/3rd place since I think that’s arbitrary social value talking, but I get the bigger point. And she’s lived that bigger point in her own life: she traded a great corporate job to study and serve in a denomination that’s still arguing whether she’s qualified to do the work she does. She answered the call and is doing the work regardless.
“As the apostle Paul wrote, not all parts of the body draw praise, and because of our own skewed value systems we don’t rank them equally, but they all serve a function, and they all have merit. All of them.
“I support the calling, training, ordination, and work of women in Adventism because I support the effective ministry of every believer, in every role, through every office, and in the exercise of every spiritual gift for the purpose of the maturation of the entire Body and the transformation of the world God made and ‘so loved.’
“It’s not just about the mini-organization I call my family and not just about the ‘clergy.’ I support women in Adventism because I support all of us.” —Keisha E. McKenzie
After J. David Newman retired in 2012 and Kumar Dixit emigrated to Vancouver in 2013, New Hope welcomed two new ministers: Mike Speegle (from Washington) and Jason Decena (from Pacific Union College). Ann Roda has been one of the congregation’s notes of continuity through all of this change.
Today, Mike told us that the pastors have been discussing the guiding vision they hold for the work they do together. They shared it today and I am so here for it. It is, simply:
To help you live out the kingdom of God wherever you are.
This vision seems perfectly aligned with how these pastors actually interact with congregation members, so I don’t expect to see whole new sides of them. But I feel good for them and for the congregation that their pastoral philosophy is now explicit. I hope they’ll go on to articulate this vision in more detail, and I will comment here when they do.
 This is my fifth year intersecting with New Hope as a regular visitor, and it’s my first as a member. ↩