As usual, my best intentions are rarely realized. So much for blogging about my trip! Every “spare” moment was filled with good conversations or sleep. And so I must save my reflections for later posts, which is ideal as it will take me a few days to process.
The topics that dominated my last week were gender, culture, ministry, and relationships (or the lack thereof). I’m still unravelling the threads of conversations and in doing so, realize what a gift and burden it is to be where I am: a second-generation, Asian-Canadian, single female pastor. Trail-blazer, a “first,” a pioneer. Because of stereotypes, patriarchy, and entrenched conservatism in Asian churches, the majority of Asian female ministry leaders before me have gone into parachurch organizations. There were very few older women pastors at the conference, and a couple of women around my age who have left their pastoral positions. [Btw, titles DO matter. It’s b.s. to say otherwise]. I could feel alone, but I know that I am not, at least that is what that conference has assured me.
Other than the intensity of the trip, I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I managed to stay alive thanks to my trusty GPS; how anyone survives without one in LA amazes me. It is somewhat exhilarating to merge onto a freeway, then cross five lanes of traffic to make the next exit. Inhaling exhaust – not so much. The weather did clear up for a beautiful bike ride along Venice Beach… my first bike ride in YEARS. What they say is true, you don’t forget how to ride a bike, but it is shaky when you start out again.
Coming home is always so comforting. Even more so now that the leaves have come in and the “green” is vibrant and shiny. The seeds for the garden has been sown and they’re growing! Instead of being eased back into real life, my feet are already running. Steady now… I need to last. It’s going to be a long race.