Hello, dear Pensacola community.
I want to share with you who I am as a Pulse “Community Voice” and about our sense of call or purpose. Finding your call or vocation and nurturing and living into it can make a difference in the community we live in and spread light in an often-dark world. This is a big topic so I’ll be breaking this into two Community Voice posts!
I am Reverend Ashlee Mosley Brown, and I am a lifelong native of the Pensacola area, a graduate of the University of West Florida, and a Community Minister at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church. My work there focuses on connecting the church with the needs of the community and partnering with the groups answering those needs. I’m also proud to serve as one of the main pastors at our beach location, Worship at the Water, which hosts a community worship service every Sunday morning at 8:30am at Flounder’s Restaurant.
I am also an area businesswoman and spent the last 14 years in CyberSecurity at AppRiver in the Human Resources and Corporate Culture fields. And I am very proud to be involved with my husband’s family business, Native Café on Pensacola Beach, by leading our business development, marketing, and community engagement efforts.
I have also previously served as an adjunct professor of Philosophy of World Religions at Pensacola State College, a yoga teacher at Breathe Yoga Wellness Studio, and am currently a member of the Studer Community Institute’s Spring VMS program through Native Café.
I’m often asked, “how do you do it all?” and “what do these roles have to do with each other?”
The truth is lots of self-care, organization skills, and a deep sense of calling that directs my steps. I have discovered my sense of call and purpose in who I am as a beloved child of God and out of gratitude for that truth, I am willing to serve.
It’s that simple. I have learned over time what my strengths are, what gifts I’ve been given by God, and what my limitations are. These roles I currently serve in all relate to one another in that they stem from my deep love of community and my sense of responsibility to serve that community as an outpouring of my gratitude for God’s blessings in my life.
I am willing to serve the community around me and my God with my time, gifts, and talents. How, where, and when I serve look a little different throughout the seasons of my life, bringing fresh experiences, lessons learned, and grace, thankfully.
Our call and sense of vocation is about so much more than how we spend our time earning our paychecks. Often, it’s hard to feel like our jobs or some aspects of our job have some deep meaning.
Often, they don’t have deep meaning. They are a means to an end – a paycheck to keep food on the table. Regardless of how we spend our time working, we can and deserve to have a deep sense of calling or purpose that undergirds how we spend our time and where we place our attention and efforts. It comes from a deep understanding of who we are and whose we are and what our lifelong purpose is on this planet, for such a time as this. And how we spend our time sharing those gifts and talents will vary season by season as we grow and mature.
Maybe you’ve never considered your call or purpose.
And it may sound like nonsense to you and to many, it will. But the call I have on my life to give, and live, and love in the world as graciously and hopefully as I can, keeps me grounded when all in the world is spinning. This sense of purpose lifts me up to the light when the world seems dark. It is the same for you – alongside your other unique aspects of call and vocation, you are called to give, live, and love in the world. Purposefully.
For me in my faith tradition, this sense of purpose and vocation is inspired by sayings from the Christian New Testament, such as in Ephesians 4:1-6, which says, “Therefore, … I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
And specifically, my commitment to being involved in the community stems from verses such as this from the Hebrew Bible, Proverbs 31:8-9, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Find your purpose and find your causes and get to work. If not you, who? If not now, when?
In my next post, dear community, I will elaborate a bit on how you can find your sense of call or purpose. Until then, I encourage you to unplug, get outside, and read some ancient scriptural texts.
Pop culture self-help has its place for a good light-hearted, feel-good read, but please refer to the very old and trusted, i.e., vetted literature for this type of deep soul work. Furthermore, seek advice from trusted advisors, and pray, meditate, and listen for guidance on what you’re called to do and who you’re called to be in this world! May it be so!
And If I can be of any help to you along your journey, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let your light shine and may we each spread the love we all so desperately need to each other, one interaction at a time, one fulfilled sense of call at a time.
Pastor Ashlee Mosley Brown
Rev. Ashlee Mosley Brown | LinkedIn
*Note from Local Pulse Editor: Ashlee Mosley Brown is a part of our Community Voices series. Community Voices is a group of Pensacola dwellers that are making a difference in our city by sharing best practices, experiences, their perspective on impactful subjects, and contributing expertise that leads to movement forward for a stronger community.