We are moving to Michigan!

Tim and +Youthleader Gina  in Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan
      We've got NEWS! I accepted a Middle School Pastor position at a church near the Grand Rapids area of Michigan! I can't give all the details right now....but I have a TON of cool stories to share about how God has led me (and my family) to a place and ministry where I can really be myself and thrive as a Pastor (Not Ministry Coordinator, Not Youth Director, Not Youth Worker).  I used to think titles didn't matter much...I am not so sure about that anymore! Read Blue Parakeet for more on the female pastor thing. I've discovered when a church is willing to call you what you are...A PASTOR to students, you get your voice back.

      So maybe titles do matter. They matter A LOT. They say a lot about who we can be, who we can't be and how others see us (and pay $ us). When given the Pastor title as a female in youth ministry...we see ourselves as we should. As equals to the men and women we work with and work for. We can lead more effectively with greater influence in the world we serve. When I was talking with one of the executive pastors on staff at the church I will be working for, he asked, "Why do you keep saying youth worker, and not youth pastor?" He encouraged me to use the forbidden "PASTOR" word. I am a youth PASTOR. I felt like a gift was dropped in my lap, a gift I was told by some who view things differently than I do...of something I could not have.

    I am beyond excited for this new beginning in Michigan and a little worried....I have no idea what it's like to live in SNOW! I don't ever wear socks. Not unless I am at the gym. My amazing husband has given me the gift of equality in our own relationship...as he has laid down his dreams (of teaching at the best Charter school ever...with his brother who JUST LANDED A FREAKIN JOB THERE TOO and MOVED from Orange County to San Diego).  He was sooooo excited to have his brother on faculty at his school, that I can't stop feeling unworthy of his sacrifice for me to pursue my dreams. Yet here we are...together willing to move where God leads and begin a new adventure. See ladies...there are men who encourage us to pursue OUR DREAMS and view us as equals too. He could have put his foot down and said no...but he didn't. He loves me I think. (-;

Sidenote: I have a lot of conservative friends who see things differently than I do...which is why they work/minister/worship where they do, and I work/minister/worship where I do. Freedom to discern scripture differently than other brothers and sisters is a beautiful thing.


  1. Sarah Theresa Ng8/23/2013

    Gina, this is so awesome and we are so proud of you. We will miss you terrible and pray that this is only a short time away from your California friends and extended family and that God will one day bring you all back to be here with us.

  2. Mike Mookie Cunningham8/23/2013

    Proud of you and Tim for taking this huge leap of faith! Honored to call you friend and co-laborer in our crazy Youth Pastor Tribe! Will miss seeing you at network meetings, but I know you guys are going to have an amazing time! Blessings!

  3. Loved everything about this! Especially your breakdown of the word "Youth Pastor" for us females. I totally get you! And I've struggled over the past 6 years going from Youth Director, Youth Minister, Youth Leader, etc. to finally settling into being called a Youth Pastor. It's great to be a part of a church family that allows you to be called what you actually operate in :) Thanks for this! xo

  4. Thanks for sharing Patrice!!!! I am excited that there are others like me out there. Happy to know other #ymwomen

  5. Thanks Mookie! I hope to get to one more ECYWN meeting before heading out to Grand Rapids! Kyle- the 5/6 pastor I am working with is married to a woman who went to FlOOD! Small world, huh?

  6. We will miss you too and the whole LFCS family. It's been wonderful to be a part of the Girl Scout/LFCS community.


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