"As a pastor, my joy and calling is to walk along side others and encourage them to grow in their own walk with Christ. When others are feeling hopeless and lost, I stand in that gap and offer God's love when they can't see it themselves."
With combined passions to serve families and work in ministry, Tawny found herself well prepared for the ministries that she would be involved in after graduation. She pursued further education at Duke Divinity and received her Master's in Divinity in 2011. Since finishing her graduate work, Tawny has been a Chaplain resident at Wake Med Trauma Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina and more recently, an associate pastor at St. Mark's United Methodist Church. She continues to serve there as the provisional elder, where she will be ordained in three more years. Tawny recalls her journey this way: "While I knew I would get a lot of the theological education from seminary, HDFS prepared me to care for the families in my congregation."
As part of caring for the congregation that Tawny serves, she oversees the visitation ministry at the church which includes making hospital and home visits and presiding over funerals. The busyness of the visitation ministry is dependent on how many people are in the hospital or nursing home. In addition, Tawny leads the Senior Ministry at the church and plan monthly gatherings, as well as Senior Sunday, an event that focuses on the gifts of the seniors in the congregation. When Tawny is not visiting or planning events, she leads weekly Bible studies, assists in worship regularly, and preaches at the congregation several times over the course of the year. Tawny has found that her background in Human Development and Family Science has prepared her to minister to people (and thus, their families) in all walks of life every single day.
"Get involved in a local church or campus worship ministry. It is so important to stay connected to God and to have a group of people who are praying for you and encouraging you."