I'm Wendy. I was born and baptized into a very conservative and fundementalist Lutheran congregation. My self-identiy was built around my faith, but I was always asking questions. My mom tells me one of the first things I ever said (before I was a year old) was "How come?" And I've been asking it ever since. I was told that my pastor visited my parents when I was in confirmation class and told them I was asking too many questions. I just had to accept some things and have faith.
There are times for accepting things ... like the fact that my daughter is moving away to college in a couple of months. But, I believe and active faith means being willing to ask questions, to doubt, to come to new understandings and to grow a little closer to Truth.
I guess that's why I love the emergent conversation. This is a place to ask even the most difficult or seemingly basphemous questions about faith -- not so that we reject the doctrines and traditions that have been handed down through the ages -- but so that we can gain a clearer understanding of God's Truth in our lives.
One of the questions I asked my pastor in confirmation class was, "why can't a woman be a pastor?" I was discerning my call to ministry at a very young age. His answer was not satisfactory. For every answer I had a counter question ... and it led me to think and pray and look for God's Truth, not merely a church's interpretation. Currently I am a Presbyterian pastor working on a judicatory level doing work in congregational transformation, evangelism and new church development. I've been ordained for almost 19 years, and, yes, I, too, remember Donahue.
Over the years I have been shaped by missional church conversation and the Gospel and our Culture Network. I have been a fly on the wall of the emergent conversation for a few years now ... and, so far, I most of what I've heard are people articulating what I knew in my soul even from those first questions. God is really up to something ... and I'm excited.