reverend gladys



You'd think that the polite way to retire for a gentle clergywoman at sixty five would be to pull up the rocking chair and knit.


or maybe settle in and do some baking.


or what about joining a bridge club?

think again.

Our iconic Reverend Gladys retired from her pulpit on september first and was at our doorstep on the 28th, via car all the way from Manitoba. Embarking on a journey that loops the continent we were only one of the many stops along the way of what will be a three(or was it four) month trip that also includes a cruise.

I am not kidding.

I coerced her to let me scan her map. That green line is her travel path.


Of course she had her share of naysayers. Those voices citing all the reasons a single woman of her age should not be driving alone across the country.


When she arrived at our house on friday I had to laugh at the technology she was packing. Laptop, GPS, digital camera, power adapters...

she is as wired as we are.

She even had this nifty little plug-in mini fridge in the trunk.


She showed me how she had a different piece of luggage holding clothing for all four seasons(because she would be encountering all of them).

But in spite of how utterly prepared for every situation she was there was no denying the nature of this trip...

pure adventure.

Which actually isn't new to Gladys. Having seen many parts of the world during her sixty five years thus far has just been par for the course.

But that isn't what makes her so special. Rev. Gladys has had one of those unsung ministries that keep the angels watching. A consistent focus on the needs of others without the applause of man (sometimes with their opposition) has been the benchmark of her life. Maybe it has been her travels that has enabled her to see past the unlovely parts of people and embrace them in love...

seeing with the eyes of jesus.

Maybe it has been the opposition that she faced as a woman ordained that empowered her with more compassion.

Maybe it was the encouragement of a father (both earthly and heavenly) who believed in her that keeps her going.

For certain the sum of all these things has been used to change lives in ways that she may never see and out of humility would never take credit for.

But the angels know.

Forsaking the more alluring styles of ministries involving big programs, big numbers, big money, She chose the broken and blind, unwashed and elderly, touching one life at a time, making space for the spirit.

And so while visiting our family and during many of our discussions involving what it means to be a follower I pestered her relentlessly about her experiences...

"You have to write a book".

I am sure she got weary of me saying it, but retired or not I think she has something to say. I know that women in ministry need the voices of other women to sustain them, especially the ones that forged the way.

like Gladys.

So as the modern ego-centric mega churches of our day begin to tumble I believe there is hope. There are others like Gladys, women out there doing the unsung work, the hard work, one person at a time.

And regarding Aunt Rev. Gladys...

I don't think she is retired...

I think she is just getting started.



Good morning and thanks for the update on Gladys, I have been thinking it is time I heard from her. Have agreat journey Gladys and see you in January and I look forward to all your stories you will have to tell. All is well here. In Manitoba life just goes on as you know. Iris

how wonderful.

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on October 1, 2007 8:21 PM.

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