Rev. Jeanine Pope-Carter
I was born and raised Roman Catholic. When I was doing my Clinical Pastoral Training, I had a priest from Ireland tell me that I was still deeply Catholic. I agreed because my spirituality is fed by the numinous energy of the Risen Christ and my love of liturgy. As I grew older and recognized my call to the ministry, I understood that I would have to find my place in a liberal, protestant congregation. Weeks before leaving for seminary, Southside Baptist Church (who had opened their doors to Temple Bethel when their lobby flooded) walked with the Temple members down a main street of Birmingham, AL, (despite threats and the need for sniper protection I later learned). Both the Reverend and the Rabbi held the Torah high between them as they carried it to the restored Temple. I was of a different denomination, but I cried as I watched this! It was the kingdom of God in front of me. I wanted to talk to the Senior Minister of Southside one day. As I grew close to graduation, I met with him and changed denominations. He mentored me all the way to my ordination and to a radical and joyful understanding of the Gospel. Therefore, I consider myself a deeply spiritual Liberal, protestant minister. However, due to my own health challenges and the amazing experiences I had in seminary, I have spent all my career as a chaplain in medical settings, but I have preached, done weddings, attended births and deaths. I have seen the fullness of the human condition.