Hi, I’m Chrystal. For more than 20 years I balanced…ok, more juggled than balanced…two full-time roles, as both an executive in a professional services firm, and as an associate pastor for several different congregations. Leading in these vastly different environments gave me unique opportunities to see how women’s roles function within different kinds of organizations and cultures. I was also able to explore the differences that result when women participate in the leadership structure of an organization, and the consequences when they don’t.
In 2008 I reconnected with my college sweetheart after having lost contact with one another for more than 25 years. We married at the end of that year. In 2009 I “retired” from the professional services firm and left the church where I had been the associate pastor for several years, relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area to Toronto, Ontario. Since then I’ve been learning all kinds of things I never knew before about Canada and Canadians.
I was a minister for many years. I’m the daughter of ministers, the granddaughter of ministers, the sister of a minister, the niece of ministers. You might say that ministry is the family business. My experience of life has certainly been filtered through the lens of pastoral ministry. The title, “Life After Church,” references my journey to discover what it means to no longer be identified so closely with the Church. I have questions about the value of Church as opposed to community, but it’s not my intention to throw stones even while I ask difficult questions. My deepest desire is to know God truly, and in the knowing to reflect God’s image well. So far my path has taken me through the doors of pentecostal, charismatic, messianic, anglican, non-denominational and anabaptist perceptions of God, and our relationship with God and one another.
This is a place for sharing thoughts about the impact of spiritual belief on our lives and our world. It’s also a place for talking about food and wine, the love of all things Star Trek, the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimeyness of Dr. Who, and the joy of music. Everyone is welcome, I only ask that anyone who chooses to comment does so with respect for me and any others joining the discussion. After all, this is my virtual dining room table where we’re gathering to share a meal, a bottle of wine and the camaraderie of conversation.