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7.29.2012

Sadly, My Husband Died in Infancy

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The title of this post is a quip that Charlotte used to deflect inappropriate questions about why she wasn't married. Charlotte was a wit.

When she came back from Kentucky she started a series of serious conversations about being a pastor in Oregon Yearly Meeting.  The meetings without a pastor usually let her come and preach a sermon as a candidate, and they always appreciated those messages, but when it came down to it, most local meetings would not seriously consider a single woman.

The Yearly Meeting superintendent was Dean Gregory. He was a great supporter of young ministers and female ministry. His mother Cora Gregory was a pastor, evangelist and recorded minister. He was working hard to find a place for Charlotte. He wasn't having any luck either.

At last, the pastor of Medford Friends Church, Clynton Crisman, talked his elders into taking her on as a temporary youth pastor, and summer interim preacher (He was hoping for an extended vacation that year.) He reported that he told the elders that the only risk he saw in taking on Charlotte was that she was a better preacher than he was, and that he might not have a job when he got back from vacation. He said this was a joke - he wasn't worried about his job -  but that it was also a true reflection of her skills which he deeply respected.

Charlotte lived in the parsonage with the Crismans that summer and they remembered her as a delightful housemate. The stipend she received from the church was minimal.

The youth of Medford loved Charlotte, and their parents found her to be a trust worthy counselor to their children. Everyone enjoyed her preaching. But when Fall rolled around the miniscule budget for a youth pastor dried up and Charlotte was at loose ends again.

Dean Gregory sent her up to talk to the folks at Scotts Mills.


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