Amy Beth Durward, Pastor of Cambrian Park United Methodist Church, really knows how to captivate a listener, which is probably one of the many qualities that enhance her calling as a minister. When she tells about the story of finding her calling, or more accurately, how her calling found her, the listener can see how being in the ministry was meant to be.
"I was doing HIV prevention work for my bachelor's thesis, because you're required to write one at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I wrote it focusing on a harm reduction model, as I would present it to my Southern Baptist grandmother, explaining how eroticism and safer sex are things a good Christian girl should be into," said Durward. "When I did present it to her, she said that she would trust me."
It was a Sunday morning church service not long after that honoring Martin Luther King Jr. near his birthday, when Durward's pastor asked the congregation if people would speak to what their dream was. Durward passionately presented her thesis, and afterward, Rev. Delgado asked her if she had ever thought about going into the ministry.
"At the moment, the world is changing rapidly," she says. "My kids are facing far different issues than I did as a kid. How to translate an ancient faith into a world that is changing, and do it well, is my biggest challenge."
Of her greatest accomplishment so far, Durward says, "I'm most proud of those moments here and there when someone knows that God loves them. They know their own value because of God's love. Those are moments of which it is awesome to be a part. I believe that if people feel secure in their own value and worth, that they are more able to share their love with others."