Sharon Murphy: to be ordained deacon in 2020
I have never lost the passion to communicate the gospel in language that is easily understood
My name is Sharon Murphy, I am married to John and we have eight children, two aged 15 and 13 who are still at home.
We also have a daft cocker spaniel called Jasper and a cat nicknamed The Scruffy Misery.
We recently moved to Chaddesden, Derby to take up a curacy with Derwent Oak BMO.
I became a Christian in my early 20s having suffered a miscarriage.
It was my first encounter with grief, and it was such a time of pain both physically and emotionally.
I went to bed one night and God appeared to me in a dream with my baby in his arms and when I woke up the next morning all the pain had gone, and I felt peaceful.
I then started to go to church, having already met the minister and his wife through a toddler group.
Over the next few years my husband, several of our children and a close friend became Christians.
It was during the next eight years that a call to mission really grew within us and in 2000 we moved to Manchester to become part of a group of urban missionaries (EDEN); I became the team leader for EDEN Hattersley.
My time with EDEN showed me the importance of the church working at ground level with the community; a way of engaging with people while living out kingdom values and ‘gossiping the gospel’ to everyone.
In 2007, we moved to Poole in Dorset and joined Reconnect, a missional community It was at this point that I started to feel that God might be calling me into ordained ministry and I started to explore what that would look like.
I trained at St.Hilds College on a two-year full time pathway.
Formation came in many guises and I learnt a lot from the breath of church tradition that I encountered.
One highlight of my training was Easter school in Durham during Holy Week 2018.
The sunrise service, which started in darkness and ended in loud celebration and worship, spoke to me profoundly about the words ‘He is risen!’.
I have never lost the passion to communicate the gospel in language that is easily understood, my MA dissertation reflects this.
I wrote a myth to try to help people with little or no understanding about the story of God try to explore what is happening during the Eucharist.
When I am out walking in the countryside especially in the Peak District I find myself feeling very close to God and this is where he will often speak to me. I also enjoy cooking, reading, listening to classical music, drinking good coffee and chocolate. I am a bit of a contemplative and words are very important to me, the words simplicity, hospitality and pilgrim have played a significant meaning for me. My rule of life is based on Micah 6:8 And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
As I start my curacy with Rev.Beth Honey in Derwent Oak BMO, Derby I find myself thinking about dwelling in a place, being, prayer walking, listening and building relationship.
My prayer is that people will see something of Christ in me the hope of glory and will want that hope for themselves.
Favourite Bible passage: from Isaiah 61, as paraphrased in The Message Bible. It speaks of healing, hope, joy and peace through Christ who brings restoration and new life.
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
Some of this verse is part of the design for my ordination stole.
Favourite hymn: Be Still My Soul. I particularly like the version sung by Kari Jobe.