Terry served as The Clergy Project's first President (2014-17).
I went from agnostic to believer to atheist. After my first 2 years of college and marriage I became a “born again” Christian in the Church of Christ. Eventually I became an elder in the church, & after 5 years in retail management after college, I earned an M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary, and served 5 churches as a pastor. One of those churches included a street ministry in Venice CA in the 70’s.
I am one of the lucky ones and am able to be honest about my beliefs in the congregation I serve, a congregation of The United Church of Canada.
I have served West Hill, www.westhill.net, for fifteen years. About three years into my ministry there, I was awakened to the reality that many of my congregants had not assimilated the progressive “metaphorical” understandings of Christianity that I had been exposed to throughout my life, had reinforced and strengthened in my theological training, and shared with them through my sermons. The reason was the archaic symbols and language integral to everything else that wrapped the sermon in the rest of the service. Recognizing the duplicity at the core of my leadership should I continue to allow Christian language and terminology to be understood one way by me and another by the people in the pews, I realized I could no longer lead the congregation. So I shared my struggle with by Board who, to my surprise, became excited about the prospect of journeying in a new direction. And we headed out into uncharted territory.