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Collared Chicks

Author: Monica Reynolds

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The Collared Chicks podcast amplifies the wisdom, experience, and voice of women leaders, in the church and beyond. Collared Chicks is created and produced by Rev. Monica Reynolds, a pastor, leader, visionary strategist, wife, and mom of five, who lives and leads in the Washington DC Metro area.
26 Episodes
Rev Sandra Sykes, an Anglican Priest in the UK, serves six distinct churches. Upon becoming ordained, Rev Sykes found herself frustrated by the lack of fun, feminine, and fitting clergy attire for women. Tapping into her creative spirit and her desire to help other women find clothing that fit not only their bodies but also their personalities, she ventured out with her daughter Sarah to create a company that designs and produces a diverse range of women's clergy wear. Now in its fifth year, Collared Clergywear UK has been featured on television and radio shows, showcased in magazines, and is expanding its customer base all over the world while still offering an amazing personal touch to each order.
Life will throw us all some major sucker punches at one point or another. We will get knocked down. Mary Fran Bontempo discovered that her son was a heroin addict at about the same time her career in the newspaper industry was facing major cultural shifts and an uncertain future. Kristin Smedley's first son was born blind. Then, her second son was born blind as well. Today, Mary Fran and Kristin co-produce the Brilliantly Resilient Podcast in addition to leading other advocacy groups. On this episode, they share their personal stories, and teach us a think or two about resilience and hope. Go Phils!
Rev. Rochelle Andrews in an Ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She currently serves as the Director of the The Center for Public Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary and as the Associate Pastor of Oak Chapel UMC. In this episode, Rev Andrews speaks to the need for ministry leaders to see beyond the pulpit. Her experience in the business world, politics, and church leadership gives her keen insight into the racial, economic, and social disparities that exist in our world, which have created the world we live in. Rochelle speaks to her passion for justice, not charity, advocacy, and policy change, calling the church to task and inviting us to pray with our actions.
Rev Amor Woolsey serves as the Brigade Chaplain for the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade of the Maryland National Guard, in addition to serving the local church as a senior pastor. In this episode, Chaplain Woolsey discusses her experience as a woman in a male dominated career field. She talks boots on the ground ministry, how Jesus is made real in world of nones and dones, and how military chaplaincy extends the work of the local church in this particular setting.
Rev Jenny Smith is an ordained elder and lead pastor serving Washington state. Jenny is the founder of Palms Up, a contemplative ministry practice that guides people through the difficult practices of showing up, paying attention, cooperating with God, and releasing the outcome. Learning to show up and release the outcome is much harder than it sounds. Jenny talks about living a Palms Up life as a woman, wife, mama, and pastor in this episode.
In the post-Christendom West, many church leaders struggle to organize in ways that allow them to both gather together for worship as a local Body, and equip disciples to be sent into the world. Many other leaders spend so much time debating whether the church should be attractional or missional in form. Few leaders, however, embrace the needed both/and approach. A church that sees and lives into the need to bother gather, and be sent into the world. In this episode, Rev Janet Durrwachter, Executive Pastor at First Church in Williamsport, PA discusses her role and passion in this large and innovative church that followed God's lead, and has been living into a gathered and sent form for many years.
In many ways, the COVID pandemic has simply accelerated the changes ministry leaders have needed to make in order to intersect with how culture connects and engages. Many of the current ministry adaptations that COVID has forced, will continue long after this current pandemic passes. This is true regardless of age or demographic. Therefore, we should likely make peace with our new reality and continue to live into our purpose, which never changes. In this episode, Rev. Monica Reynolds hosts a conversation with two ministry leaders from Ebenezer Church, a large and thriving congregation in the Washington DC metro area. Michelle Paquette, the Director of Student Ministries, and Vicki Stones, the Director of Empty Nest and Older Adult Ministries discuss how COVID is shaping the current and future reality of their ministry areas. Because whether one is in 6th grade or 85 years old, the church is still called to be the church. Take a listen, and find out what Vicki and Michelle have learned about matters most, and how they are organizing to make it happen...
Rev. Jessie Colwell is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church who has served several local churches and various boards and agencies for over 10 years. In this episode, Pastor Jessie speaks to Pastor Monica about the importance of mentorship in her own life and in the life of the church. Jessie credits strong mentors for making her who she is today believes everyone should always both have a mentor and be a mentor. Pastor Jessie is passionate about discipleship, music, and the Word of God. In addition to her local church appointment, she currently serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Calling 21 Team, and the District Committee on Ministry. Jessie has been married to Nelson for five years and Dean is their three-year-old son. You can connect with Jessie here:
Tara Beth Leach is the senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena (PazNaz) in Southern California. Tara is a trailblazer and bold leader serving a large, historically male led church, in a male dominated denomination. Tara Beth previously served at churches in upstate New York and the Chicago suburbs. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University and earned her MDiv from Northern Seminary. She writes regularly for Missio Alliance, lives in California with her husband and two children, and recently released her book, "Emboldened" into the world. In this episode of the Collared Chicks podcast, Pastor Monica and Pastor Tara Beth talk about what it feels like to often get sidlelined and sideglanced as women leading in a profession where males have created all of the rules and systems and some don't even believe we should be here. Monica and Tara Beth discuss the great chasm that exsits between affirming women in minstry and truly emoldening and empowering us. Tara Beth also discusses the heart and vision behind her recent and amazing book, Emboldened: A Vision For Empowering Women in Ministry.
In this epsiode, Pastor Rachel and Pastor Monica talk about the desire to create spaces where the unique contributions that bold women make, and the challenges we so often face when leading firecely in traditionally male dominated spaces can be shared. Rachel is an ordained elder, leader, and author. She currently preaches 30 out of 52 weeks per year at Ginhamsburg's main campus, and serves uniquely and collaboratively alongside the church's lead pastor. In February 2019, Rachel and her teaming are hosting the FIERCE women's conference. FIERCE, a gathering for women who work professionally and lead spiritually within the church, will combine safe space, support and encouragement from those who have "been there and yet still do that" with tough love challenges, tools and a network that will help women clergy and other women church leaders rediscover their call and thrive in the "industry" that's responsible for eternal kingdom of God impact. More information can be found at:
Kelly Johnson is an author, speaker, retreat facilitator and life coach. Originally trained as a clinical social worker, Kelly worked for several years in the mental health field with adolescents, adults and families. She is an outspoken advocate for The Lamb Center, a local day shelter for the homeless where she has served as a bible study leader since 2008. For the last several years, Kelly has also served on the Board of Directors for The Lamb Center. An avid blogger since 2005, Kelly’s writing has been featured on The Glorious Table, Today I Saw God, Huffington Post, and The Mighty. Her book Being Brave: A 40 Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You was released by Abingdon Press in December 2017. Kelly and her high school sweetheart, Steve, have been married for over 30 years and are the proud parents of two twenty-something daughters, Alexandra and Brooke. Kelly and Steve live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, sing, and garden. Learn more about Kelly’s writing, speaking and coaching at
As the institutional church struggles to attract new people into established systems, systems that many in our day and age are skeptical of, an exciting movement is underfoot. The microchurch movement, which is taking various forms and shapes around the world, is allowing local, organic, highly adaptable church Bodies to form, worship, and serve in environments that integrate all other aspects of their life. Our guest today, Melissa Corkum, explains why. An Enneagram 1, engineer, entrepreneur, former coffee shop owner, current coach to parents of kids with difficult behavior, and mirochurch leader, Melissa is always looking for ways to make things and people better. Sometimes to the chagrin (and sometimes to the delight) of their 6 children, she and her husband, Patrick, enjoy chasing ideas which are loaded with the promise of adventure and fall squarely outside the proverbial box. The microchurch movement is one such adventure. After experiencing years of discontent and frustration within the institutional church, she and her husband decided to launch and lead a mirochurch movement over three years ago. Melissa and Patrick have 6 children by both birth and adoption. Their adventures are currently based out of their northern Maryland home. Melissa writes, coaches, and hosts a podcast at
In episode 8, the Rev. Frances Cooper, elder of 29 years in the United Methodist Church, pastor of St. Marks UMC in Midlothian, VA, and one of the first and few women in Virginia to lead a large church, shares honestly about a soul-crushing first pastoral appointment, the threat of the call on her marriage, the long road of being figured out, the shifting tides of the church, and the difficulties, perceptions, adjustments, competition, crutches, desperation, and dismantling involved in being a woman in ministry today. Fran knows well the beauty and the brutal reality of being a woman in ministry. Besides being a full time pastor, she is also a wife (part of a clergy couple), a mom, a "mimi", a sister, a daughter, and friend. She considers herself a lover of preaching and worship, a celebrator of the gifts of Christ in other people, and a planter of God's word, "flowering gardens and food memories" wherever she goes. It is also no small thing that she happens to be the aunt of collared chick co-creator Michelle Matthews, who says, "Fran is the reason why I am in ministry today. It was only after I witnessed her preach and preside with both grace and conviction that I begin to believe God had called me to this task as well. If I am half the pastor she is, I would consider myself blessed to have served God so ferociously."
Rev. Amy Graham, the Pastor of Spiritual Care at The District Church in Washington, DC, leads us in conversation about how her and her husband built one of the fastest growing churches in the United States by assessing the needs and seeking the welfare of the community to which God had called them and by always keeping Jesus in their inner-city mobilization for justice. The District Church has grown from 10 people meeting in a living room to nearly 1,000 people in less than ten years. Before moving to DC, Amy served as the youth minister and worship leader at Quincy Street Missional Church in Boston. She is a gifted leader and counselor, a graduate of Boston University’s School of Social Work, a graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary's Masters in Theological Studies degree program, and she and her husband Aaron live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC with their two children, Elijah and Natalie.
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