By Bethany Good
Several months ago, Katie Callaway and her family took a giant leap of faith when they moved from Georgia to Maryland so that she could start a new job. Katie was happy to start fresh as the pastor of Christian Temple in Catonsville, Maryland. Besides her work in ministry, Katie is also passionate about writing. “I like to say that pastors are the most consistently paid writers,” she says. If her move to Maryland proves anything, it’s that Katie is ready to embrace the unknown. “I am an adventure enthusiast, typically watching the clock to count down the hours until my next adventure.”
When she’s not spending her time writing sermons, or counseling congregation members, Katie writes grant proposals for a nonprofit organization in Boston. Currently, she is also working on her doctorate in Creative Writing as Public Theology. In her limited free time, she is working on a non-fiction book about the importance of Black literature for the white journey to anti-racism. She loves reading novels that focus on sociology, justice, and advocacy.
When she isn’t working, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband, John, her 5-year-old daughter, Sophie, or her German Shepard, Lily. As a nature lover, you can typically find her on her bike or in the woods.
Why We Love Katie
One thing to note about Katie is her sense of compassion for others, and her commitment to racial justice. Around Cowork Frederick, she is quick to offer her unique wisdom to members in need of advice and guidance. “There is a creative spark at the core of who I am. I want to create things: essays, novels, sermons, reflections, and experiences. I am creative and imaginative.”
Q&A with Katie Callaway
Tell us about your approach to work and life.
My approach to work and life is to maintain an open-handed hope. I have been guilty of doing a lot of clenched-fist grasping to hold onto my own preconceived notions–beliefs, aspirations, goals, etc. But I have tried to conjure in myself an open-handedness that allows me to let go if need be and not be SO attached to outcomes. I hope this makes me more flexible and spontaneous, but I suppose the jury is still out on that one.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
I want to make a difference in the world. I want the words I write and speak to be words that create or contribute to creating a world that is safer for someone to say, “Yes. Me too.” Or, “I have always thought that but never had words for it.” I want to bear witness to and be a part of people’s journeys to discover themselves so that they can engage more authentically in our society as change-makers.
Which of the guiding values defined by Cowork Frederick members speaks to you?
Definitely “Resilience.” This career in the non-profit realm and writing is my second career phase. I have had to learn resilience over the last year, enduring a challenging transition and reshaping my career goals. At first, when I left my last job, I was scared: would I ever find meaningful work again, did I even want to find meaningful work, and what were my values and skills outside of the church world that could translate well to the corporate realm? Now, I am finding that my transition out of that last job was a jumping-off point for me to spread my wings in ways I didn’t know were possible.
Any tips for writers?
I think the biggest tip I can offer folks is to read and read widely. I used to just read non-fiction in hopes of soaking up all of this elusive wisdom. What I didn’t realize was how much I was missing out on learning from fiction writers. The more I’m reading, the better I am at my job.
Why Cowork Frederick?
Initially, I started at Cowork Frederick for practical reasons: I had nowhere to work in my camper because my daughter had yet to start school. I needed quiet space to do my work. But what I discovered once joining was that I needed a lot more. My work can be lonely and isolating. I needed a community, lunch dates, and a water cooler conversation in the break room. I came for the wifi and quiet, but I stayed for the community and camaraderie.
For those who want to learn more, how can you be reached?