As I sat in the Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership workshop, I was reminded of the power of influence and expectation. Two mentees described their introduction to the Women of Spirit and Faith Group. No one asked them for their credentials. They were not required to pay their dues first before they could have a voice that was valued within the larger circle. Rather, they were accepted as leaders with gifts to bring to the larger group. They were surprised by this reception as many of us would be if we all had this experience. We know the unwritten rules of advancement, acceptance, and gaining respect in our society. The ethos of the group, brought to mind what happens when we imagine “that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us?” What happens when we internalized that “the one who calls us also equips us for that in which we are call?” I left that experienced inspired to see people already equipped, already in process, and already blessed. In the days ahead I will look to see what difference this will make as I encounter others. I will consider more deeply what will happen within me if I assume this new position of the faith.

- SanDawna Gaulman Ashley, associate for gender and racial justice, GAMC