On Removing the "Young" from "Young Clergy Woman"

A couple of years ago, I applied to be a commissioner to our denomination’s General Assembly. After glancing at the essay questions, I went back to the top of the form to fill out the easy stuff:Name… Address… Phone… Email… Gender… Ethnicity… Age…

The “Age” line had several ranges to choose from. I began scanning the numbers with some smugness—This will be my ace in the hole! They’re always looking for young people to go to these things—until I realized which box I would need to check at age 37:

____ 36-64
Thirty. Six. To Sixty. Four.

When did that happen? When did I get old enough to be lumped in with people who were one liturgical year away from retirement? On top of it all was a panicked lament: Why, dear God, why?

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