The Rev. Jenny Sharp, of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, says she comes to her first General Synod with a desire to learn more about the church and a lot of life experience to contribute. Photo: Tali Folkins
Years, ago, the Rev. Jenny Sharp, of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, used to scoff at the idea of becoming a priest.
Before she was ordained in 2008, Sharp worked at an employment agency that specialized in helping people discern their career paths. Sometimes she took the agency’s career-discernment test herself.
“Mine kept coming up ‘clergy,’ and I laughed!” Sharp recalls. “I said, ‘Oh yeah, not me!’ ”
Sharp said she had always thought of clerics as special in some way, and her mental response to the idea of becoming a priest was, “I’m not special—I’m just me!”
Then one day when she was journalling, she says, she found herself writing: “Psalm 110, verse 4.”
“I’m just writing and all of a sudden it just came to me to write down this Scripture [passage],” she says. “I had to go look it up to see what it says. And that is, “I have ordained you a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
This, Sharp says, ended her resistance to a priestly vocation. She quit her job and began studying theology.
Sharp, serving as a member of General Synod for the first time, says she was drawn to the meeting because she has a keen interest in the Anglican church, and wants to learn more.
Asked what she brings to General Synod, the jovial Sharp says “chocolate!” with a chuckle. More seriously, she feels she has considerable life experience to contribute. She has done a variety of kinds of work in her life, she says, including teaching high school to adults, working in human resources in a hospital and working with brain-injured people.
Asked about her hopes and concerns for General Synod, Sharp says, “My biggest hope and prayer for that is that...we can all live still in communion and that pastorally we can all heal. I have a direction I’d like it to go, but it’s up to God. I truly believe the Holy Spirit’s going to move, and I’ll go whichever way he wants.”
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Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.
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