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Women in Ministry-The Joys, Challenges and Encouragement
Episode 715th March 2022 • Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble • Bishop Julius C. Trimble
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Bishop Julius C. Trimble is the Resident Bishop of the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Trimble has the personal mission to encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential. It is his commitment to his personal mission that led Bishop Trimble to create the “To Be Encouraged” Podcast along with co-host Rev.Dr. Brad MIller.

Bishop Trimble says, “I am compelled by Jesus to share with you an encouraging word or two about Jesus, theology, the bible, the pandemic, the environment, racism, voting rights, human sexuality and state of the United Methodist Church.”

To Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble is to be published weekly and is available at www.tobeencouraged.com and all the podcast directories.

https://www.inumc.org/bishop/office-of-the-bishop/

bishop@inumc.org

Rev. Shannon Stringer is the Director of Leadership Development for the Indiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

https://www.inumc.org/staff/leadership-development-team/

shannon.stringer@inumc.org

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens is the Associate Director of Diversity, Missions and Justice Ministries for the Indiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

https://www.inumc.org/staff/connectional-ministries-team/

annettra.jones@inumc.org

Transcripts

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

A discussion around the joys and

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

the challenges and the encouragement of women in

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

ministry with Reverend Annettra Jones Stephens and Reverend

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Shannon Stringer, on episode number seven of the To Be

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Encouraged podcast with Bishop Julius C. Trimble.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

It's a fairly common experience for me

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

to have a man in that meeting, usually somebody with a good

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

working relationship, who respects my work, who

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

appreciates me, to interject and actually say, what she means is

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

You are welcome to be encouraged with

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Bishop Julius C. Trimble. Bishop Trimble is on a mission

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

to encourage you with the love of Jesus Christ, so you can rise

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

to your highest potential. On the To Be Encouraged podcast,

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Bishop Trimble speaks to a discouraged world with a good

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

word on the pandemic, racism, the environment, human

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

sexuality, and the state of the church with a focus on centering

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

your life on the love of Jesus Christ. Has there ever been a

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

more needed time for an encouraging word to our world?

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

This is your time to rise to your greatest potential and to

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

be encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

This is the podcast where we speak with with Bishop Julius

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Trimble about things that he is encouraged about and wants to

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

encourage you about. March is women in history month, and we

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

are pleased to have as our guests here today, two

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

outstanding women in ministry in the Indiana Conference, Reverend

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Annettra Jones Stephens is in responsibility as a Director of

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Diversity, Missions, and Justice Ministries in the Indiana

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Conference. And we are also thrilled to have Reverend

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Shannon Stringer with us who is responsible for leadership

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

development in the Indiana Conference. Both of these women

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

have had outstanding careers, with great accolades in mission

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

and preaching and teaching and local church leadership. We

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

welcome everybody to the podcast today. Bishop, help us welcome

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

our guests here today.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Greetings beautiful people. We're so glad

Bishop Julius Trimble:

to have you. Looking forward to this conversation, and I know

Bishop Julius Trimble:

others will be blessed by your words and your wisdom.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Thank you for inviting us. We're glad to

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

be here.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Glad to be here. Thank you, Bishop.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Awesome. Well, I would just like to start

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

in for a moment here, and then Bishop you can jump in, but I

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

will start with with you, Shannon. Tell us a bit about

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

what got you involved with, maybe a woman who was

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

inspirational to you, to help lead you into the pathway of

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

ministry, and I'm gonna ask you a similar question Annettra, and

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

then Bishop, I want you to jump in with what you have to do.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

I grew up in a church. My mother was a

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

faithful church attender as a lay person, but there were no

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

female clergy ever. In my entire childhood or young adult, I

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

don't have a female role model for clergy woman until I was an

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

adult. And it was when I was an adult, I had been a high school

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

teacher for a long period of time already, that I had my

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

first female pastor. It was the Rev. Marilyn Gebert who pastored

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

at Bethel United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

And in watching her minister, that was when I began to wrestle

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

with is it even possible, is it alright with God for a woman to

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

be a pastor? I was 35 when I started asking those questions,

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

and rapidly found other women serving, like Reverend Dr. Cindy

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Reynolds.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

The Reverend Kate Walker, these are women who served faithfully

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

and over long periods of time in Indiana. And I began to watch

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

them and pay attention to their fruit, and to see how they

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

served, and to ardently quest from God what was God asking for

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

me? And so it absolutely was in women who modeled what it meant

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

to be a clergy person to me that opened the possibility of me

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

ever even becoming a clergy woman.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Annettra, I'd like to ask you basically

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

the same question. Your starting ministry and particularly any

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

women who were influential upon your track of ministry.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

So being in church, I would see, I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

saw women that had the title of associate pastor, but they did a

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

lot of the work in the church, but they were not paid. And so

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

they were on staff, but they were not paid. Other than that,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

I saw a lot of women preachers that would preach like women's

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

teas, or, you know, you'd get to only really preach on Women's

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Day. And so I wanted to, you know, when I felt God called me

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

to preach, I went to seminary thinking that I was going to

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

learn how to preach better, and maybe I would get more

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

invitations to preach at more women's teas, not knowing that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

God had other plans. And while in seminary, I attended the

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Jarena Lee Preaching Academy, and Jarena Lee is the first

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

woman, African American woman, preacher, in the AME church. And

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

so she was just ordained posthumously , I think that's

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

the right word, just a couple of years ago. She's been gone over

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

100 years. They just finally ordained her. So anyways, I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

attended this Jarena Lee Preaching Academy, and this is

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

when I was in discernment, wondering if God was calling me

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

to the United Methodist Church or not. And I get here and I'm

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

in a room of like 40 to 50 black women, and many of these women

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

were senior pastors, in lead pastors. Reverend Dionne

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Boissiere, she is the chaplain at the Church Center for the

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

United Nations, and these women were directors, and they were

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

tenured professors. And I had never seen such in my life,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

never seen anything like it. And I left the Jarena Lee Preaching

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Academy with my vision expanded of what God could do in my life.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

And that's when I said, I'm joining the United Methodist

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Church. I wanted to go, I wanted to be challenged. And I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

wanted to know that when I left seminary, I would have a job and

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

be used as a woman in ministry.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

So there were just so many women there. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman is

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

the Dean of Methodist Theological Seminary, and she is

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

the President of the Jarena Lee Preaching Academy and Woman

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Preach. She is a role model for me.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

We are so glad that you are here,

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Annettra, and I'd like to just take a moment to congratulate

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

you. Annettra has just been approved for ordination in the

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

United Methodist Church, and will be ordained at our Annual

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Conference this year. We are thrilled, thrilled to have you

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

as a part of our clergy colleagues in this way.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, that's awesome, awesome news

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

there.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Bishop, I know that you had some things you wanted to ask both

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Annettra and Shannon about and interesting, these diverse

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

experiences they've already shared with us, isn't it?

Bishop Julius Trimble:

It's absolutely, it's wonderful for

Bishop Julius Trimble:

us to hear the story. And I know, that's only part of your

Bishop Julius Trimble:

story. This is Women's History Month, and also think about some

Bishop Julius Trimble:

of the challenges. There is a compelling commercial I see now

Bishop Julius Trimble:

on television, that holds up a man and then a woman and it

Bishop Julius Trimble:

talks about their two jobs. The man says I get paid

Bishop Julius Trimble:

100% and a woman gets paid 20% less, and they both fit similar

Bishop Julius Trimble:

credentials, the similar jobs and so forth. There's still

Bishop Julius Trimble:

seems to be inequity in society, and in the ministry, and I just

Bishop Julius Trimble:

want to open the door and window if we can, just for some

Bishop Julius Trimble:

conversation around that. Where's the progress that we

Bishop Julius Trimble:

need to make in terms of equity and leadership and opportunity

Bishop Julius Trimble:

and justice? As it relates to women in ministry and, and women

Bishop Julius Trimble:

in society?

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Yeah, so there's just a lot of work to

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

do. I know that August 3, this year, is Black Women's Equal Pay

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Day. And so black women historically make 62 cents for

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

every dollar paid to a white non Hispanic man. And so August 3

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

2022 is the date. That's how much longer we have to work to

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

catch up to the pay that white males receive. And so I'll be

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

sharing about that. You'll be hearing about that as we get

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

closer to August. Praise God. It is still an issue. And, you

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

know, I remember prior to coming into ministry working at a call

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

center, and I had been at this call center for three and a half

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

years, and I had worked every product in our company. I mean,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

I was familiar with every product. We had about seven

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

products. I also was our only bilingual customer service rep

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

at that time, because I still had a lot of of my Spanish. And

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

so I went up for a job to be a team lead. And I went up against

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

a white male who had only been at our company for three months.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

He had only worked on one product, and he did not speak

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Spanish. And they took us through all these hoops; they

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

created a whole new process to decide who they were going to

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

pick. And then they had folks in a training class vote for who

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

they wanted to be the next lead, and they voted for me. My

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

supervisor made an executive decision, and chose the white

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

male who'd only been there for three months, only spoke one

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

language, had not worked all of the products. And for me, that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

was a time where I think I experienced discrimination. And

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

It does still happen today, Annettra.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

You are one hundred percent right. The churches where I

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

served as a senior pastor, even the ones where the outgoing male

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

colleague had only been there a year or two years, it had been a

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

very short turnaround, the salary that was offered to me

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

was thousands of dollars less than the set salary that had

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

been offered to my colleague who just left after a short period

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

of time. Now setting salary is complicated. And part of the

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

complication is sometimes those salary adjustments have to

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

happen because of the financial capabilities of the church. And

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

so it's important for me as a female clergy woman not to

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

automatically read that as some sort of discrimination in that

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

example, as opposed to Annettra's example. But it's

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

so it's still happening today.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

also important for us as church leaders to be aware of that

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

discrepancy and to pay attention to helping to place women in

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

churches that are financially healthy and that can support

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

their ministry at the same level as their male colleagues. It's

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

an important area, and I would want to lift up the excellent

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

work being done by COSGROW. COSGROW is the Committee on the

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Status and Role of Women. It is an area supervised by our friend

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Annettra and Crystal Jacobson, who is the Chair there. They're

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

doing a lot of monitoring work about equity in the Indiana

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

Conference between our female and our male clergy colleagues.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

I don't know, Annettra, if there's anything about COSGROW's

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

work you would particularly want to lift up.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

I've been impressed by the work that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

COSGROW has been doing. They monitored, I know, the last

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Annual Conference, looking at how much time women were

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

speaking versus how much time men were able to speak, but also

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

the work that they did with presenting to the Cabinet what

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

equity would look like and how many women should actually be

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

serving in larger churches. And as a result of that work, I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

understand that appointments were made to help close that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

gap. So COSGROW is doing amazing work. I would also add at my

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

previous appointment, the leadership in the church really

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

does make a difference, because at my previous appointment,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

without me having to ask, their SPRC brought up they wanted to

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

look at the equity, and they were looking at the gap between

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

my salary and the senior pastor. And they did their own research

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

and compare. They called other churches that were of similar

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

size, even of different denominations, and asked if they

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

would share what their associates were making. Because

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

of that research that they did on their own, they gave me a

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

really large increase in a year's time to close that gap.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

So when given the opportunity, we can

Bishop Julius Trimble:

make a difference. So this is one of the things I wonder if

Bishop Julius Trimble:

you might want to weigh in on Brad, you may want to weigh on

Bishop Julius Trimble:

this on as well. As we prepare for the Easter sermons that will

Bishop Julius Trimble:

be preached and we will preach, we read the Gospel accounts of

Bishop Julius Trimble:

the resurrection story, the crucifixion resurrection story,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

and that often is read with reference to the disciples of

Bishop Julius Trimble:

the apostles, of followers of Jesus. All of the Gospel

Bishop Julius Trimble:

accounts point to the fact that women were the first to discover

Bishop Julius Trimble:

the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene, and several accounts say, and

Bishop Julius Trimble:

the other women who were there. In fact, Mary Magdalene is often

Bishop Julius Trimble:

referred to as a an apostle or a follower, a disciple of Jesus,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

sort of disciples of followers of Jesus. Do you think maybe our

Bishop Julius Trimble:

theology has been somewhat truncated or skewed, when we

Bishop Julius Trimble:

only think of the disciples as the 12 disciples and and the one

Bishop Julius Trimble:

who replaced

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Judas

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Judas, I had a brain freeze, the one who

Bishop Julius Trimble:

replaced Judas, and not think of that, and even even in our

Bishop Julius Trimble:

biblical references, and I have to confess, after all these

Bishop Julius Trimble:

years in ministry, I'm now and I should have been doing much

Bishop Julius Trimble:

better because my wife has always been a voracious reader

Bishop Julius Trimble:

of women authors, that I'd look back at some of my sermons,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Brad, and saw how many references I made to, to male

Bishop Julius Trimble:

theologians, or commentary writers, or biblical accounts,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

that really uplifted primarily men and men characters in the

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Bible. So since Black History Month was last month, and this

Bishop Julius Trimble:

month, I've been continuing to just to intentionally look to

Bishop Julius Trimble:

more authors and contributors who are women. Here's a quote,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

the most common way people give up their power is by thinking

Bishop Julius Trimble:

they don't have any. That's from Alice Walker. So any anything

Bishop Julius Trimble:

you want to say about that?

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

I just want to thank you, Bishop, thank

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

you for for asking such a great question. I have a short answer.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

And it is, I think we need to breathe wholeness back into the

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

context and understanding of the scripture, and we can't do it

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

with gender discrimination. Jesus worked with a whole group

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

of people, not just a certain type of people. And so we have

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

to breathe a wholeness there.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

I like that. Wholeness I'm gonna use

Bishop Julius Trimble:

that. Thank you.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Annettra?

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

So you know, Bishop, you brought up

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Alice Walker. I was gonna say that I read a lot of womanist

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

theology, and it's coined from Alice Walker, who coined the

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

term womanist, and womanist is basically black women who are,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

who do feminism but you know, feminism is more so focused on

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

gender equality and gender issues. And so with womanist, we

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

look at race, class, and gender, and with womanist theology,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

because we are committed to wholeness and to the well being

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

of all humanity. And we look at the text through the eyes of

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

women, and, in particular, black women as well. I preach on women

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

a lot. I try to and see, I hear a lot of preaching from the

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

women's perspective around Easter. I think about preaching

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

my my senior sermon, I preached on Vashti, you know, Queen

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Vashti, and I totally humanized her. And my now husband, you

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

know, he's apostolic. He said, in the pews, he said, What kind

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

of heresy is this woman up here preaching, but he ended up

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

marrying me. But Vashti is a woman who's always been preached

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

in a certain light. Right, a rebellious, a woman that didn't

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

do what her husband asked of her. You know, I grew up in

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

churches where they said, if if you are like Vashti, and you

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

disobey your husband, you lose your husband to Esther. But I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

totally humanize Vashti because I love Vashti. So, I think we

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

could do much better at preaching the women all

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

throughout the biblical text are everywhere. Yeah. Dr. Will

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Gaffney, an amazing resource, Dr. Will Gaffney just released a

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

women's lectionary, The Year W. And so there have been, across

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

denominations, they are using this new lectionary text and

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

it's very feminine. So I definitely recommend that lectionary.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

A leader takes people where they want to

Bishop Julius Trimble:

go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily

Bishop Julius Trimble:

want to go, but ought to go. That's a quote from Rosalyn

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Carter, the former First Lady. What do you think about that,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

quote, especially in the light of work we've talked about

Bishop Julius Trimble:

dismantling racism, breaking down barriers. What do you think

Bishop Julius Trimble:

about that quote? Responses from both of you, please.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Well, Shannon is you know, I was

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

thinking about Shannon today. During my Board of Ordained

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Ministries, interview, they asked us who was a leader that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

you admire and would want to emulate? And I said, Shannon

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Stringer. Shannon was also very instrumental in me being in the

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

role that I am that I'm in right now. And I was comfortable in

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

the church. I was comfortable. Shannon, I was comfortable

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

minding my business. But now I am in this role that is

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

challenging, that is stretching. But it is because someone like

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Shannon saw in me what I didn't even see in myself. So had this

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

job been posted, I would have never applied for it. Never in a

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

million years. I would have felt unqualified. But because of

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

someone like Shannon, here I am learning as I'm going. So thank

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

you, Shannon, for being the leader that you are.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

You're welcome. And you were called to

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

this work, you're just gifted in this area, it's clear, not just

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

me, but but to everybody. Usually, I think a good leader

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

figures out where people want to go and figures out how to get

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

them there. I think a great leader helps people develop self

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

awareness, when Annettra talks about her IDI work, she's

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

talking about helping people become aware of who they are

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

right now, and maybe who they really want to be, and how to

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

get to where they want to be. A great leader opens the eyes of

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

the people that they work with so they can see what they could

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

be, what could happen, the impact that could emerge, and

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

they want that for those people. And so I don't know that a great

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

leader takes people where they don't know they need to go. I

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

think a great leader helps people see where they could go.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

And to dream bigger. God sized dreams are not just for people

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

from Scripture. God sized dreams are for God's people now. We

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

love and worship and are led by the same God that led Moses and

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

the same God that met Vashti, and the same God that that led

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

all of our friends from scripture. That same God speaks

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

today, and a great leader helps people listen to those God sized

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

dreams and and believe in the ability to go for it.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Wow, wow, powerful, powerful, powerful

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

A lot has been shared here about

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

leadership and about opportunities, and that's great,

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

and some of the challenges that are there. If it's okay, Bishop

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

and Shannon and Annettra, I'd like to get personal here just

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

for a moment. And I'll just put it in context of this term, that

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

I hear once in awhile from my wife, probably more than I want

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

to, and my wife is a very accomplished woman in the legal

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

field, and she says, you know, Brad, are we have a mansplaining

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

moment here, you know, where I don't get it, I don't get it.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

And I sometimes get a block, that kind of thing. I would

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

like for you to share, Shannon and Annettra, a moment when you

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

had for lack of a better term a mansplaining moment where

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

somebody just didn't get it. And it could have been offensive or

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

it could have been, it probably was offensive, but it could have

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

been some sort of a moment that you could have gone either way

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

you could have gone, you know, in a destructive way, you could

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

have gone a positive way. I'm interested in a moment you may

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

have had regarding mission or in ministry or something else, and

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

then how you handled it.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

So, so this happens a lot. It's

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

surprising to me that it still happens a lot to me, because I

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

am neither them nor unaware of my role. But it does still

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

happen a lot to me. I think one of the moments that leaps to my

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

mind immediately has to do with conflict when you're in a

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

meeting. And I'm having a conflict moment with another

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

individual, we disagree with each other. And they have said

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

something and I have replied and and they're getting ready to say

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

something back to me. It's a fairly common experience for me

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

to have a man in that meeting, usually somebody that I have a

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

good working relationship with, who respects my work, who

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

appreciates me to interject to actually say what she means is

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

and literally mansplain to the person that I'm in conflict with

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

to the point that there have been several meetings where

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

after the meeting, I have gone to the person that we were

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

having a conflict and said, I'd like to have a conversation with

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

you after the meeting. And we sat down in my office together

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

and I said, I felt like our conversation got interrupted,

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

and I want to hear you fully, and we continue to have the

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

conversation. So mansplaining not only do I notice it, but I

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

have to do extra work and it takes extra time in order for me

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

to create the relationship between the individuals. When

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

you're having an honest conversation in a meeting and

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

you need to say hard things to each other, it's really

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

important to allow us to continue that conversation and

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

not to intercede for me. So yeah, it's it's a thing.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

It sounds exhausting as well.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

You know, I really appreciate where it

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

comes from most of the time. So most of the time I think the

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

person who was interjecting themselves there into that spot,

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

wants to smooth things over and wants to represent for me. I

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

just don't need them to represent for me. And so I'd

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

appreciate if they wouldn't.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

Shannon gave a really great example of

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

that. I think we encounter it so much, you know, even I think

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

amongst husbands and male family members, and it even happens at

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

home. But you know, I don't know if this is an example of

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

mansplaining. But I remember sitting at being at a meeting

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

and talking about serving on another board or committee, and

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

the man turned to me and asked, well, when you served on that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

committee, were you invited, or did you apply? I said, well I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

was invited to serve on the committee. Well, did they really

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

feel that you had something to offer? Or did they bring you on

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

as a token? And so I don't know if that's mansplaining. Or if

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

that's just playing condescending and racist. But I

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

had an experience of being at a meeting where a certain male

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

continued to disrupt the meeting, and direct questions

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

towards me, that had to do with I would say that had to do with

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

race, happen in a way. And the reason I would say mansplaining,

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

is because you've had a black man present the entire time that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

you've could have asked some of these questions, but you wait

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

until a black woman gets in the room. And then you ask me some

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

of the most condescending questions. And so it shows up in

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

a lot of different forms. But the constant interrupting that

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

we experience, it is very exhausting.

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

I wonder, could you speak to in that

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

meeting, what would have been helpful to you for the other

Rev. Shannon Stringer:

people who notice that. What would have been been helpful to

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

For me, it would have been helpful if others would have spoke up. So I was in that meeting, there's other women in the meeting, there's another African American in the meeting, and I was clearly attacked. That's the way that it felt, but no one really spoke up. So he did not know I don't know if he knew in that moment that he was wrong, and that he was out of order. He needed to know that. In that moment, I felt like, and so although I was able to push back in a very gentle way, because I was a new representative for the Conference and representing my Bishop, so I was on my best behavior, praise God, but it was a painful experience, and I remember leaving that meeting, getting into my car, and I just cried. I cried, and I called my boss Larry Whitehead. We had a really great conversation, but no one defended me. It was clearly an attack, it was clearly racist. It was clearly sexist. This goes back to all of our committees, needing specific training around like the IDI work that we were talking about previously, that that awareness and also training around issues of diversity and inclusion and bias. And I think that, my hope is that all of our different leadership, areas of leadership and ministry areas, our organizations, everything related to INUMC would engage in that type of work.

Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens:

you?

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Thank you. Thank you. This has been

Bishop Julius Trimble:

this has been rich. And I want to close by again, quoting a

Bishop Julius Trimble:

great leader who was United Methodist. For 20 years as a

Bishop Julius Trimble:

college president, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune made the most of

Bishop Julius Trimble:

her remarkable ability to inspire young people to dream

Bishop Julius Trimble:

their own dreams. At the graduation exercise each year at

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Bethune Cookman. She would say the same thing. Faith ought not

Bishop Julius Trimble:

be a puny thing. If you believe, have faith, like a giant, and

Bishop Julius Trimble:

may God grant you not peace, but glory. Very similar to what I

Bishop Julius Trimble:

heard you say a few minutes ago, Shannon. Yes, that we could

Bishop Julius Trimble:

dream big dreams and our faith, have faith like a giant. That's

Bishop Julius Trimble:

a great story and I remember, Mary McLeod Bethune was one of

Bishop Julius Trimble:

the few people that we seem like we did hear about her. So many,

Bishop Julius Trimble:

so many powerful African American women in history that

Bishop Julius Trimble:

we don't hear their stories, and she was she was United

Bishop Julius Trimble:

Methodist.

Brad Miller:

And what a what a great encouraging word to share,

Brad Miller:

Bishop, and I certainly have been encouraged by our

Brad Miller:

conversations here today with Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens,

Brad Miller:

Rev. Shannon Stringer, and Bishop Julius Trimble, and I

Brad Miller:

just think it gives us a lot to consider and to think about

Brad Miller:

whatever perspective we come at in ministry, and we celebrate

Brad Miller:

women in ministry here in Women's History Month. And we

Brad Miller:

move forward in faith and encouraging word here. Bishop,

Brad Miller:

any final words before we close?

Bishop Julius Trimble:

I thank God for the witness of these

Bishop Julius Trimble:

powerful women clergy who serve in the Indiana Conference. And I

Bishop Julius Trimble:

just pray that others who hear about that we remember that, you

Bishop Julius Trimble:

know, preachers and pastors don't come from heaven directly.

Bishop Julius Trimble:

They come out of congregations. And sometimes churches are

Bishop Julius Trimble:

saying, you know, what are the pastors come from. They come

Bishop Julius Trimble:

from churches, congregation so I hope that churches laypeople who

Bishop Julius Trimble:

hear this podcast and clergy will continue to encourage

Bishop Julius Trimble:

people to listen for the call to ministry. And remember there are

Bishop Julius Trimble:

people close by who can mentor you and model for you with

Bishop Julius Trimble:

excellence in ministry.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

We thank you for being our guest today.

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

This is the To Be Encouraged podcast with Bishop Julius

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Trimble. Our special guests today have been Rev. Annettra

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Jones Stephens and Rev. Shannon Stringer. Consider yourself

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

encouraged and appreciated for listening To Be Encouraged with

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Bishop Julius C. Trimble. Now, please share the blessing and

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

encourage others in your life, to listen, to be encouraged. You

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

can do just that by pointing your people to the website

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

tobeencouraged.com. That's t-o-b-e-e-n-c-o-u-r-a-g-e-d .com

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

or connect through Apple podcast where you can follow rate and

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

review To Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble. When

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

you do that, you're doing your part to bring a good word to a

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

discouraged world. Remember to listen next week To be

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble and never forget, God

Rev. Dr. Brad Miller:

loves you, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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