My Ministry Endeavor

Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues:

I hope that this letter finds you well.

As many of you know, I have attended Lancaster Theological Seminary for the past three years. Let me explain how my story began:

First, I have been involved in ministry in some capacity over the past twenty years. However, it wasn’t until I found liberation/radically inclusive theology that I realized that God can use me.  I didn’t answer right away because I had some battles that I was facing. Moreover, I struggled with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and low self-worth.  I didn’t think that I was worthy.

As I continued to reflect, learn, and grow while attending church services at Rivers of Living Water in New York, I applied to the Minister in Training class.  I was accepted, and my journey began in 2010.  I served as Ecclesiastical Assistant, supervised our Men’s ministry, and coordinated some events.  However, I still wasn’t certain where it would all lead.  I still wrestled with Bible verses that seemed to condemn and marginalize women, sexual minorities, and people of color.  I was encouraged us to attend seminary, but I didn’t think that it was possible for me to do so.

Then, in late 2012, my mother suffered a stroke in Boston, MA.  I went back and forth to Boston from New York City, and it took a toll on me.  Systemic Lupus wreaked havoc on my body.  My mother passed away on January 10, 2013. Besides mourning, I was dealing with emotional and severe pain caused by Lupus.  I ended up having to be seen in the emergency room at a Brooklyn hospital.  I was diagnosed with pneumonia and had a blood clot.  After spending one week in the hospital, I was placed on short term disability for two months.

During my recovery period, I had conversations with God; most of which was a screaming match.  The pain was unbearable, and I asked God if she/ he were punishing me for something.  I told God that I did not want to live like that, and that if God’s will was for me to live, I wanted God to heal me and to let me know what my purpose in life is.  The job I held at the time was no longer exciting.  It was becoming uncomfortable because it was not my calling.  I asked God, “What’s next?”  I literally did.  Low and behold, I found out that the 2013 TFAM Convocation theme was, “What’s Next?”  I knew that I had to be there. I had only worked a couple of months before convocation, but I found a way to get there.  Once there, I attended a breakfast for prospective seminarians.  I met Kendal Brown who was the Director of Admissions at Lancaster Theological Seminary at the time.  I received great information about seminary, and I applied to Lancaster Theological Seminary.  As I stated earlier, I began my studies in January 2014.

After completing several pastoral care courses, and during my first clinical pastoral education unit, I decided to pursue hospital chaplaincy.  I am now about to graduate on May 20, and I am excited about the next part of my journey; my “What’s Next?”

Family, I love people.  I want to pray with them, advocate for them, help them find resources, and empower them to be who they are called to be with confidence.  I have been accepted into a highly competitive Clinical Pastoral Education residency at York Hospital in York, PA.  This will require that I relocate to York, PA.

I'm called and ready to start this new journey.  I'm currently unemployed. I am expected to move from my dorm room by June 1, 2017.  The cost for housing, food, medicine, transportation, educational materials, and other resources that I would need is $5,000. GoFundMe charges 5% of the total amount, which would add up to $250.  The roughly 3% charged by WePay would come to $150.  The total comes to $5,400.

I have created a GoFundMe account.  I am grateful for your prayers, and I hope that you would consider contributing monetarily.  I would be grateful for any amount that you would contribute.  If you know of anyone who would be interested in supporting my campaign, please forward this information to them.

My GoFundMe link is: https://www.gofundme.com/my-education-and-ministry-endeavor

 

Very Sincerely Yours,

God Bless,

 

João Casi Teixeira



8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Isaiah 6:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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Joao Casi Teixeira 
Organizer
Lancaster, PA
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