My professional name is Patricia Renard Scholes, but please call me Pat. My husband of over 50 years and I live in a rural community north of Durango, Colorado. We live in a national forest between the Animas River and the Durango-Silverton Railroad. I am excited to take the ordination classes at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here).
My Ministry Journey Begins
I majored in “Mommy” for ten years before I decided to return to school. It took me a while because life kept happening. Two examples are: a tornado took our house, leaving us temporarily homeless, and my husband became disabled halfway through his working years.
Finally, I graduated from Denver Seminary with a Master of Divinity and a Certificate of Completion in Evangelical Spiritual Guidance. I intended to become a Presbyterian pastor, but I realized I wasn’t Presbyterian after all by the time I graduated. As a result, I never became ordained as a pastor.
However, that didn’t stop my ministry. For several years we opened our home to street people in a halfway house ministry. This was life-changing, not only for our “congregation” but also for us. We watched in amazement while God changed the lives of the people in our home. One young man, who previously led a very violent life, was challenged as he drove his truck down a mountainside. He got behind someone who not only drove very slowly but also prevented him from passing. The young man reached for his rifle, fulling intending to blow away the other driver. When I asked him why he didn’t do it, the young man replied, “Because God didn’t want me to.”
I didn’t enter this world to minister to anyone. My parents blamed me for “having to get married” when Mom became pregnant with me. Anger and violence filled our home. I refused to remain quiet, even when it looked like Dad might kill me for speaking out. I spoke out anyway. Although they went to church every Sunday, there was no Jesus in that home. I never remember one quiet family dinner. One of us kids either became the recipient of Dad’s verbal assaults or the physical victim of his terrible temper. I used to rush through my meal and run to my room to escape the next war to break out. I buried myself in a novel to shut out the noise downstairs.
My escape into fiction became my vocation. I write dystopian science fiction to encourage others that there is a way out of the tragic events people must face in this world. I am far too familiar with abuse. Too often, I was my father’s “chosen” child. I didn’t believe in a God who would allow any of this to happen to children. I remember being alone in my bed, crying from yet another beating, praying, not praying, then praying again. Finally, I said, “God, if you’re real, I just need someone to love me.” “I love you, Patty,” God said, not in an audible voice but inside. Then He filled me with more love than anyone could contain. Since then, I’ve told people that no one is an accident. God loves us specially and has made each one of us unique, with a fulfilling plan for each of us.
My Ministry Journey Continues: Ordination Classes at CLI
Another thing I learned in the seminary is that I’m not designed to be a pastor. I work best in small groups or one-on-one. As a result, I’ve never used my education as a minister. We attend church regularly, but I’m not one of the preachers, even though I am very qualified to do so and am not afraid of speaking to large groups. I do house church ministries or small group ministries. I would love to train people to become small group leaders.
Therefore, I am pursuing ordination for that purpose, not just to lead a group but to facilitate others to do the same. Denver Seminary cost me over $100,000. I can’t afford another major investment in my education, or I would have returned to school to acquire a doctorate. God is not taking me there. So, I am so thankful for the Christian Leaders Institute with its scholarship for free ordination classes.