Hillary Clinton is considering becoming a Methodist pastor or lay preacher.
The former first lady and Democratic presidential nominee told her her pastor and spiritual adviser Shillady that she has interest in “sharing her faith.” Shillady says her faith is stronger since her election defeat.
According to The Atlantic
Scattered bits of reporting suggest that ministry has always been a secret dream of the two-time presidential candidate: Last fall, the former Newsweek editor Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister. She asked him not to write about it, though: “It will make me seem much too pious.” The incident perfectly captures Clinton’s long campaign to modulate—and sometimes obscure—expressions of her faith.
Now, as Clinton works to rehabilitate her public image and figure out the next steps after her brutal November loss, religion is taking a central role. After long months of struggling to persuade Americans that she is trustworthy, authentic, and fundamentally moral, Clinton is lifting up an intimate, closely guarded part of herself. There are no more voters left to lose. In sharing her faith, perhaps Clinton sees something left to win, whether political or personal.
Two books are slated to come out of Clinton world early this fall: What Happened, Clinton’s personal account of the election, and Strong for a Moment Like This, Shillady’s book of devotionals. Shillady, who runs the United Methodist City Society in New York, wrote the book at Clinton’s suggestion; he said his is the only book for which Clinton has agreed to write a foreword. Clinton and her staffers read and approved the copy ahead of time.
Strong for a Moment Like This emerges from a project Shillady started shortly after Clinton said she was running for president in 2015. Every morning, he would get up at 4 a.m. to pick out a bit of Scripture and write a quick devotional for Clinton to use in the day ahead. Sometimes, he asked fellow pastors to contribute a devotional to the project, including the more than 100 women clergy who formed a group called “We Pray with Her.” Shillady includes bits of his email correspondence with Clinton, such as her delight at a new prayer or parable, or thank-you notes following get-togethers with Methodist clergy.