The Coffeepot Fellowship is happy to further introduce the supremely kind and intelligent Marina Ghaly. Marina lives in Midlothian, Virginia. She is a 2nd year student at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond. She is quite skilled at socializing within very diverse circles. It is probably because it is her nature to emphasize everyone’s positive values and perspectives. She is also comfortable questioning with people; it’s normal to hear Marina share a struggle in a “what-I-don’t-understand-is-______” format.
I love Jesus, I love music, I love the Middle East and I love sports. -MG
A regular feature of storytelling on our show is the detail within the stories. Occasionally, however, a guest is not in a position to be able to share the details at the time of the interview. Imagine the mess and impropriety it would demonstrate if our guests regularly came on the air and hung out all the drama and dirty laundry of any one faith community they served. Imagine they named names. Imagine they told the stories of the things that were said in either large leadership meetings or in meetings with just two or three present. Every faith community has them because every faith community is made up of real live humans, even if they do have some “saints.” Even saints have low-water marks.
I mention that with today’s episode to bring home two points. One is that it happens, congregations do dark, terrible, hurtful, unkind, unprofessional things to (and with) other human beings. It’s part of growing up to no longer be surprised by “good people” being bad sometimes. This does not make it acceptable. People in faith communities being far from perfect should not be your excuse for not participating in a faith community. Your choosing a faith community should not be arbitrary, but community is important.
Second I want to encourage my sisters and brothers in ministry leadership to be open to examining themselves and their structures of ministry. Admit that you are already part of the problem and that you may be the biggest part of the problem. Submit yourself to examination, conversation, feedback and taking the healthy steps needed to improve or be replaced. Be humble and get professional help. The best way to help any system is to change yourself; it is the only piece you control.
Union Presbyterian Seminary (UPSem)
Instructional Resource Center (UPSem)