Iowa Clergy contributors to "Speaking Truth: Women Raising their Voices in Prayer" - Rev. Mara LeHew Bailey, Rev. Bethany Willers, Rev. Heather Dorr, Rev. Sarah Karber, and Rev. Laurel A. Capesius.
In September 2018, young clergywomen from across the United Methodist Church came together to write the devotional book We Pray With Her: Encouragement for All Women Who Lead. The editors were excited to partner with Abingdon Press and additional clergywomen to publish a companion devotional Speaking Truth: Women Raising Their Voices in Prayer, released February 18, 2020.
Among the 92 contributors to Speaking Truth are five Iowa Annual Conference clergywomen: Rev. Mara LeHew Bailey, Rev. Laurel A. Capesius, Rev. Heather Dorr, Rev. Sarah Karber, and Rev. Bethany Willers.
Rev. Bailey serves as the Chaplain at Simpson College. “In my work,” Rev. Bailey says, “I frequently encounter students who have felt less than or left out of the church for any number of reasons. The powerful words found in the prayers and devotions of Speaking Truth remind us that God’s grace and love are gifts given to all people and that each of us has a valuable place in the community of faith.”
Rev. Capesius serves as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at La Canada UMC in California. She wrote for this book “because I wanted to name things like the struggles of mental illness, so that women know these things are allowed in prayer.” Speaking Truth includes “A Prayer for When Your Mental Health Makes You Feel Insufficient,” written by Rev. Capesius, “A Prayer for Moving Through Depression” and “A Prayer of Gratitude When Living with a Chronic Illness.”
Rev. Capesius says, “God can handle our truth, so we ought to be freed to shout or sing or pray that truth for all to hear.”
Singing is the central theme of the devotion written by Rev. Dorr. She serves as the Associate Pastor at Asbury UMC in Bettendorf. In the book, she says, “As women, we want to lift one another up. We want to help each other find our voices, our power, our gifts. We can sing to one another the songs of life and love.” Rev. Dorr was eager to contribute to Speaking Truth after a family member used a prayer from We Pray With Her while discerning applying for a new position. Lifted by the prayers of the book, she got the job.
Rev. Karber serves in extension ministry with the Augustana Apartments as a Chaplain in Minneapolis. She is thrilled to be a contributor to Speaking Truth, which “offers the opportunity to put words to some of our deepest sighs and longings.” She hopes “others will use this book as a launching point to share deep truths with one another to continue to lift other women up in prayer.”
Rev. Willers also serves in extension ministry, in the Methodist Church in Britain. Rev. Willers says, “Prayer is one of the most foundational practices in my life, but even as a pastor, sometimes I just don’t know what words I want to say.” She hopes that those who read Speaking Truth will see it as, “a potent and necessary antidote for the times in which we live.”
Speaking Truth is now available from Amazon and Cokesbury.