Sarah Howell-Miller

Holy Mischief Maker

About

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Hi! I’m Sarah. I am a young, female pastor striving to figure out what that looks like for me.

I have found God at a Run the Jewels concert, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and in Christian worship. I once preached in Duke University Chapel and a prison in the same day.

I currently live, work, and play in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am an Associate Minister at Centenary United Methodist Church, where I lead worship and community at Roots Revival, assist in worship design for a diverse range of Sunday morning opportunities, and cultivate missional opportunities both locally and internationally.

I like building relationships, challenging assumptions, and making holy mischief. Words and stories matter deeply to me. In my free time, I enjoy reading, making music (most often with Martha Bassett), hiking/running/biking, weightlifting, cooking, gardening, and hanging out with my fiancé, Colin, and our three pit bulls, Crash, Gertie, and Hooch.

Sarah is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and was ordained as an elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2017.

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3 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Sarah, I’m actually writing in response to your article in “The Circuit Rider.” You put into words what I’ve been thinking for some time as I sit here on the edges on Medical Leave (thank you, GC, for the name change!) because my DS said it’s “full-time or nothing.” When did we lose the passion of Wesley to bring the word and the love of Christ out of the buildings and into the streets and the fields and the mines and the factories? Why are we so concerned with the institution and so little with the people? Why do we close small, faithful churches in very small towns because they’re not “big enough?” Hello! Christ worked in very small villages with very small populations – his only foray into a large population center was a disaster. I love reading Wesley’s journals, where he showed up to preach and no one showed up to hear, but he preached anyway. He knew they would come in time. And they did. So many of our churches are stagnant, but the DSs come to the annual Church Conference and nod and smile and say how wonderful everything is, and nothing changes. I am hopeful when I hear from new young pastors like you. Perhaps there is hope – new visions, new energy and new realities to come out of the dark night of the soul. God bless you. Pastor Diane

  2. Sarah, thanks for your article in “The Circuit Rider.” Well said. Regarding Marcia McFee’s statement in your article about resistance to changes in worship being an expression of fear, couldn’t it be just as true that our changes in worship, i.e. screens, video clips, guitars, praise choruses, also be an expression of fear; fear that we have to mimic the culture or perish? I confess I am most aware of the holy when I step aside from the battering of the banal into a place where there is a different sense of time such as the observance of the Christian Year; where there is a richness of liturgy that has a feel of timelessness.
    dan franks

  3. Sarah,
    In the last several months of 2015 my 13 year old daughter began to unleash the feelings that she had been enslaved to for quite some time. Little did we know that all the quirks within her behavior were actually coping mechanisms to keep her sense of anxiety under-wraps. She began counseling at one of our very favorite places called Daystar (it’s an amazing place of love, acceptance, and truth telling housed in a yellow-house with dogs that greet you when you open the door)! One day as we made the 1.45 hour drive back to our home my daughter and I were talking about some of the coping skills that her counselor was giving her.

    She began telling me that her counselor said “sometimes you are going to have to get sassy with it (meaning the rule causing the anxiety).” My daughter proceeded to share how the counselor used her sassy voice and and over exaggerated her motions. It wasn’t long after that somehow your “I bought a sassy mug” popped up on my Facebook feed. I read your blog and could not believe that you were giving voice to the very thing that my daughter was feeling and the exact same thing that her counselor had told her: sometimes you just have to do it.

    By December my daughter was diagnosed with OCD (she has rules upon rules that she must live by to ensure her safety {nothing about germs and cleanliness; just rules about her safety} …..which even when she complies it doesn’t alleviate her anxiety). Because of your authentic voice I bought my daughter a ‘get sassy with it’ mug for Christmas. She loves it and used it everyday.

    As a mom, I just wanted to say thank-you for sharing. Thanks for writing with such authenticity and love. You’re making a difference and if I am ever in your neck of the woods I’ll seek you out to hear you preach the Gospel of love and acceptance and introduce myself.

    Thanks!!

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