Years ago during a difficult season of my life, a friend would say, “Tell me a story.” Looking for true stories to tell lifted my eyes from my own sorrows and lifted my heart in the process. More recently, another friend said she looks forward to hearing about my everyday encounters, “divine appointments.” She called them. Today, my personal sorrows are few, but the world’s sorrows have been weighing heavy on me. It’s been a tough couple of years for tender-hearted people everywhere. As a kind of spiritual discipline, I’m dusting off my old laptop keys and brushing up my storytelling, for myself, and for anyone else in need of a good story. Some of the stories I’ll tell are from my past, some from what’s happening around me right now.
Who am I? I’m Becky Zahller McNeil, a Nebraska native. A graduate of Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, (BA in Humanities and Religion Magna Cum Laude 1982), and Lexington Theological Seminary, (M.Div. 1986, and D.Min 2002). I was ordained into the ministry on August 11,1985 in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and have served ministries in Zaire, NE, OK, KY, IL, OH, and Michigan. I also served at Child Saving Institute in Omaha as Legacy Giving Director before returning to pastoral ministry in my hometown of Omaha for three years.
In April 2019 we started a new adventure when I accepted a call to serve two small United Church of Christ congregations in northeast Nebraska, one in a small town, and one out in the country, (the cemetery and cattle are the church’s nearest neighbors). Then, just two years, a pandemic and an insurrection later I decided I was done. It was time to retire. I was weary. On June 1, 2021, I retired from the ministry and my husband Mike and I moved to Trinidad, Colorado where we are adapting quite nicely to free time together, hiking, camping, reading, traveling, and using our gifts as needed with Zion’s Lutheran Church here.
Together Mike and I have six adult children scattered from coast to coast, several grand-doggters, and some grand-cats, too. I like to bake pies as my mother taught me and I knit dishcloths to make my PBS Passport tv binging feel a bit more productive.