In October 1983 I found myself sitting in the congregation again. For six months I'd been leading worship and preaching. But no more.

The year before, I'd tried to plant a church in a newly developed area north of Cincinnati. One core family had moved to this neighborhood from an existing conference church in another city and had opened their home for a Bible study. On Easter of 1983 we began worship services in a rented facility.

We canvassed the neighborhood and spoke to other Free Methodists living in the Cincinnati area, but no one responded. After six months of services for just my husband and the one family, the one family burned out.

So there I was, churchless.

My husband and I took off to visit my family for the weekend. That way at least I would spend my first churchless Sunday in a familiar congregation, the church I attended in seminary. In the pew that morning, however, I felt so passive just sitting in the congregation.

Then came the announcement of a recent seminary graduate's ...

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