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view of lower manhattan from the observatory deck at rockefeller center

Beloved, welcome to Girl Pastor.

Hi! I'm Hannah Faye Allred (she/her). ​I am a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and recently said goodbye to a congregation near and dear to my heart in the West Village of New York to serve as the solo pastor of a tiny parish out in the suburbs of New Jersey. I Grew up Southern Baptist-- deep in the heart of Texas, where people had (have) very strong opinions about Church, the Bible, gender, and barbecue. Eventually I left both Texas and the Baptist church. I needed a spiritual home where my brain and my heart could coexist to face big questions about God, and the serious doubts I was beginning to have about the way the church had gotten a lot of things wrong.

That soul searching, along with an incredibly supportive husband, propelled me (us) from the Midwest to the Northeast, where we found ourselves on the opposite end of the spectrum: liberal elitism and a laissez-faire attitudes about God altogether along with the best pizza we've ever had. It's been a wild and fascinating ride. We've since added two more humans to our family and are currently mastering the juggling act of being parents and still holding on to the things we loved and adored before we were renamed Mom and Dad. (Spoiler alert, there is no mastering it).

To be honest, this THING, whatever it turns out to be, was birthed from a place of desperation. I felt stuck in a rut with my call to ministry, my preaching, my writing, motherhood, all of it. I felt like I was holding two versions of myself, my love of biblical scholarship and my constant pursuit of perfecting the "effortless" beach wave-- my love of the church and my simultaneous embarrassment of it as all of my friends slowly left ​the church and I was dedicating my life to it. It was the version of me, who loves clothes, lipstick, Sex and the City, decorating, and then the other me, who felt I had to become something else to be a pastor. Why couldn't all those pieces of me exist together? 

What's it like to love shoes and earrings and also try to break into a field very much dominated by men and masculine ideas about God? Why do I feel like I can't use motherhood as a metaphor for ministry when God is so inherently maternal?  How does all this fit together and what does it mean for the church universal? This is where I plan to dump all my thoughts and ideas on the matter and invite other to do so with me. Hope you enjoy the process and let me know what you think about some of it, too. 

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