Holding Science in One Hand, Faith in the Other
Ashley Brown is a woman of science and of faith.
Her interest in science led to her nursing career. Her strong faith inspired her to push for new ministries for young adults in her congregation.
"Nursing is a profession of service and I think that’s God’s way of using me,” the 23-year-old says. “I think He also has called me to become an active member in my church by finding new ways to minister to people in my church family and [my] surrounding community."
A nurse at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia working in the Intermediate Cardiac Care Unit, Ashley sees the advantages of technology, while believing in the power of touch.
"Sometimes the little things in nursing help to make a patient’s experience much better, such as helping them bathe or wash their hair, finding a newspaper for them, being there during difficult procedures, talking to them about other things besides their illness."
Ashley enjoys helping patients maintain control over their care while preserving privacy and dignity.
"Sometimes, it’s hard for patients and their family members to feel [God’s] presence," she says, "but he is omnipresent. Sometimes it’s during those moments when we least think he is there that he shows up!"
If we don’t know who we are then we don’t know whose we are. I believe that if our churches could reach out to young people we could help draw them to Christ and truly help them live their lives according to the Word of God.
- Ashley Brown
Letting Go, Letting God
Her faith shows her how to let go, which helps her in the science of life.
“Sometimes I forget to allow God to have control over every aspect of my life. But I see God showing himself more and more as I strive to become more involved with my church.”
Her involvement in her congregation, St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church
, Philadelphia, Pa., helped her find community with her other young adults.
“Spiritually, as young people, we need to know and understand our identity,” she says. “We get confused by the images we see or hear from television, radio, peers, etc. If we don’t know who we are then we don’t know whose we are.”
Her compassionate embrace of that confusion prompted her to reach out.
After attending a leadership event for young adults of African Descent at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) churchwide organization in Chicago in October 2009, Ashley began efforts to add a Young Adult Choir at her congregation.
Within the ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
, she’s working to launch a Young Adult Bible Study with other local churches.
Sharing the Same Thirst for God
As a high school junior, Ashley attended an ELCA Youth Gathering
in Atlanta, Ga., an experience she recommends to all young adults.
“It is important for young people to meet other young people who share the same thirst for God and are proud of it! It helps teenagers know that it is okay to follow God in a world that tells you to follow other things, especially before embarking on the challenging journey of college life.”
Future goals include becoming a nurse practitioner and continuing to strengthen her faith.
“I am still trying to be who God wants me to be. Being a Christian definitely isn’t easy and I work on making God the center of EVERYTHING that I do. I am far from perfect but as Steve Harvey says, ‘He ain’t through with me yet.’ I hope and pray that God continues to use me in my congregation, community and my career.”