Thursday, March 28, 2013

Trailblazer: Pastor Laurie Haller, Christian Minister

Pastor Laurie Haller, Christian minister
Pastor Laurie Haller is busy this week because it's a special season in the Christian year. It's Easter time. The week before Easter is called Holy Week because it includes the re-telling of the Easter story when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, shared the Last Supper with his disciples, then was tried and convicted and put to death on the cross on Good Friday. Three days later He rose triumphantly from the grave on Easter morning, returned to speak with his disciples, and then ascended into Heaven where He lives. His life and resurrection gives great meaning to Christians--hope, forgiveness, and everlasting life.

When Pastor Laurie was a little girl, she felt a longing to tell the story of Jesus and share His love and kindness. Through her ministry, she wanted  to help transform this world into a better place for everyone.

Laurie pictured playing with a turtle.

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Excerpt from the chapter, Serving God, about Pastor Laurie in the Girls Succeed book.

Growing up in the lush, green countryside in Pennsylvania Dutch country in southeastern Pennsylvania, Laurie was able to live in the midst of God’s handiwork.  The magnificent, fertile rolling hills provided farm families with bountiful harvests and open space for grazing animals.  Laurie loved playing outdoors. She, her two brothers, and sister attended the Mennonite church with their father and mother.  The people in this church set her on the path to knowing and loving God and her desire to serve God as a pastor.
“I felt called to be a pastor when I was a little girl, but women were not allowed to be pastors in my denomination, the General Conference Mennonite Church. I decided to study church music in college and graduate school with the idea that I would serve as a Director of Music in a church,” Laurie said.
However, when attending graduate school, she discovered there were women preparing to be pastors in her classes at the seminary. The seminary is a university that teaches students who want to work in the field of religion. Still feeling the call within her to serve God, Laurie enrolled in the seminary after completing her Masters in Music degree. She studied to become a pastor. 
Laurie had never met a woman pastor, but she knew several male pastors whom she admired.  She had to discover her place as a woman in this job.  By the time Laurie graduated from the seminary, the General Conference of the Mennonite Church accepted women as pastors.  She was ordained which means she was received into the ministry of the church.

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You can learn more about Pastor Laurie and her career as a Christian minister in Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. The e-book is available at Amazon, Smashwords, and major online retailers.

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