It was late summer, 1986. My husband and I were getting ready to graduate from seminary, and the job hunt had begun. With the optimism of youth, we wondered how we would decide which church we should go to—as though churches would be lining up to hire a pair of green seminarians. Naive or not, we sincerely desired to know God's will.

My husband felt called to ministry in northern New England, but that was as far as the leading went. Assuming that a choice would be involved, we prayed for discernment in how we would recognize God's will when the time came. We both arrived at the same "scientific" conclusion: We would go to the first church that called us. We didn't want to get in the position of comparing financial packages, parsonages, congregations, or communities as some of our peers seemed to be doing. So we made a pact between ourselves and God—we would go to the first church that called.

Two interviews

An invitation came for an interview ...

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