The story of this middle-aged woman covers her very real sense of call to the ministry, her seminary years in a southern divinity school and three years as an ordained Methodist minister serving as the first female pastor of a small-town church. During all of these years she was cognizant of her role as wife, mother and, later, as grandmother.
Her experiences of life and death events in her congregation — as well as the seemingly mundane — are thoughtfully recounted, and the reader is truly caught up in the life of this small-but-vital cosmos. It is obvious that grace was experienced by this author and also by others whose lives she touched in her unique approach to the carrying out of her chosen ministry.
Appearing in the first chapter and woven in and out through this manuscript are references to an unlikely piece of furniture — a piano — which presented both challenge and opportunity for Cartledgehayes. This inherited “white elephant” proved to be a real avenue of thoughtful self-expression and understanding.
I thoroughly enjoyed the originality and depth of her sermons, her strong sense of integrity and her unqualified love for humankind. I anticipate having the opportunity to enjoy future writings of this talented and dedicated author.
Grace: A Memoir is available on the Internet from amazon.com for $16.10. Or call Random House at 800/733-3000 for store or ordering information.