I got an email from a woman pastor notifying me that she was leading her confirmation class in a seder the other day. She was going to use my Anti-Panic Passover Guide. I decided it was time to write my testimony reply. So here it is:
Dear Reverend Sue,
I just hooted and hollered when I saw your email! This is Cheryle, the author, of the Anti-Panic Passover Guide. You see, I was raised a United Methodist years ago, and it was in confirmation class that I started my quest for knowledge on WHERE THE CHURCH WENT WRONG! Don't get me wrong, but here's what I experienced (You may relay this to the confirmation class if you like, okay? I am now a grandma with a gradson age 9 and a granddaughter 8 now, so thought you might like to share this with your group):
When I was in confirmation class in Coffeyville, KS one Saturday morning, our pastor drew a time line and shared the church history with us. When he came to Constantine and the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, I raised my hand and asked, "Why did we leave our roots? We were part of the Jewish 'church', weren't we?" The pastor looked very upset and made excuses and kept pressing on to finish his prescribed lecture. I kept shaking my head and asking, "Why did we leave what Jesus, Peter, Paul, James and John practiced?" Weren't they Jews even after the crucifiction? Didn't Paul still do sacrifices after the resurrection?" Finally he asked me to be quiet so he could finish. I went home quite upset and told my mom that I wanted an answer and the pastor wouldn't answer me. She told me to keep my mouth closed and not cause problems.
A few weeks later we had the required "revival" so all of us could "get saved." I went forward bawling and a squalling because something DID happen to me! I went to the "back room" and all of the other 5th graders were back there snickering about how they had fooled their parents into believing that they had "gotten saved." I kept trying to get someone to pay attention to me, and to explain to me what had happened. No one would pay attention to me, so I just wiped my eyes and went back to be sprinkled with the other 5th graders. I was very quiet on the ride home....
I went upstairs to my bedroom and the audible voice of God spoke to me and said, "Cheryle, you are called to my ministry." I just about lost it! I ran down stairs screaming, "Momma! Momma! God just spoke to me!"
She met me at the bottom of the stairs and said, "Cheryle! Calm yourself! First, God doesn't speak to people. Secondly, God doesn't call women to ministry--that's only for men. And third, there is no such thing as a woman minister in the Methodist Church. Now calm yourself, and dont tell anyone what you think happened."
For years I tried to get enrolled at the Seminary in KC. But Mom wouldn't hear of it. So I went off to college and became a teacher. Took lots of Ancient History and Culture, but kept my mouth shut. I even became a youth music director for 3 years, but no one ever asked me if I had ever had a personal encounter with Jesus. Nope! I was just the babysitter for their children for that hour and that's all they cared about.
One day about 30 years later, my sweet Momma, came crying to me and apologized! She told me that it was okay if I told people that I was called to the ministry and that she was sorry for keeping me out of the seminaries! I chuckled! By then we were long into our ministry of HaY'Did and I was chowing down with the top scholars in the world on these things. A month ago we hosted our first Women Restored! Conference where I was a major presented with the other women scholars on the role of women in the first century church! WOW! Finally I am getting the answer to that question that the pastor couldn't answer! Now I know where the church went wrong and I am in HIS ministry teaching these truths! Blessed be the Name of the LORD! AMEN!
A ministry in Baltimore, MD asked me the other day what it
would take to bring our Women Restored! Conference to
Maryland. I said, "Just find me a building and some praying
people, and we will come." Who knows! Maybe someday we will
come to Maryland and I can look at a WOMAN minister of the United
Methodist Church that IS teaching about that first century
church! Have a wonderful and blessed Passover! You are in my
prayers! Let me know if I can help in any way!
Shalom in Messiah Yeshua,