MEET KAITLIN MOORE MORLEY AT LARGE EVANSVILLE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE
It was a cold, rainy, windy day in Manchester, England and I was homesick for my midwestern American. I had spent the last three years living abroad and I yearned for a group of people who spoke my language and understood me intrinsically. I had grown up evangelical and in a fiscally conservative family which lead the Republican party to make sense to me in many ways. In a moment of supreme homesickness I googled Republicans Abroad and was about to sign up when I noticed the $50 fee.
As a poor college student that seemed like a lot. I noticed the Democrats Abroad charged zero dollars to join, and as a fiscally responsible woman this began my love affair with a new party. As I attended events and listened, I began to shift my thinking and grew into a new ideology. I had found my political home.
I was born in Evansville Indiana, the daughter of a banker and a nurse, as American as pumpkin pie. I was joined a few years later by two brothers whom I would remain close to throughout my adolescence and adulthood. My dad was adamant in teaching us a good work ethic, kindness, and to take responsibility for our actions. My mom added a touch of spice, humor, support to everyday life.
I attended FJ Reitz High School as a somewhat studious band member. As I looked toward graduation I felt a strong pull to serve as a missionary, something that had been my dream since I was a young child. In 2003, at the age of 18, I moved to the Czech Republic and taught English as a Second Language to adult students. I developed an interest in learning other people’s languages, not simply the words, but the cultural and social meanings behind the words. At the end of the year I was not ready to go home and began to apply to universities throughout Europe.
I moved from the Czech Republic to Spain where I studied Spanish and Sociology and lived in a house with a dozen women from half a dozen different countries. Yelling in Spanish, English, German, French and a variety of other languages was a part of daily life, and I learned to live and thrive with people of different cultures and religions.
My final European stop was Manchester, England where I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Manchester. This was post 9/11 when fear of Islam was high, I had roommates who were Muslim and women of true character, grace and faith. It was through these women my mind grew. I began to understand how much I can learn from people who have a different narrative and experience than me.
The Czech Republic taught me to listen, Spain taught me to embrace, and England taught me to let people different from me to grow me.
After graduation I returned to the United States and was accepted at Asbury Theological Seminary for a Masters of Divinity degree. This would fulfill another childhood dream of becoming a minister. During my time at Asbury I was hired as a youth pastor at Newburgh United Methodist and began my career in ministry. Since then I have served at Howell United Methodist, Hillside United Methodist and Trinity United Methodist where I am currently an associate pastor of community development. I had the opportunity to take part in Deaconess’ Chaplain Residency Program where I learned how to minister to all people regardless of background and religious belief. I spent several years as a chaplain at St Mary’s Medical Center.
At my core I am a chaplain, I love challenge of listening deeply to people and being present in times of crisis. Being a chaplain has taught me how to be quiet, present, self-assessing, and proactive.
It was a week before graduating from seminary that I met my husband, Darren. His work with his family company, Morley Corp (formerly Morley and Associates) moved us to Philadelphia where I met a group of Mennonites that would eventually become my church family. In the Mennonites my theology and political beliefs met. Our church was not so interested in what you believed but how you expressed it. Do you care for the homeless, the immigrant, the downtrodden? Do your words and actions reflect a quiet inward faith? I found myself personally and theological challenged daily I was baptized Mennonite in the spring of 2017. I continue to be active in the Mennonite church while serving at Trinity.
The Mennonites have taught me how to be humble and develop community.
These are all factors that have led me to a decision to run for office. I joked in my twenties that I would leave the politics to people smarter than me. As I have matured I have learned the truly great leaders are the listeners, the philosophers, the curious, the humble. I have become determined to be the civic leader I want other people to be.
People ask me why I am running for office. I am running because I am passionate about listening to people. I have spent years listening to people, embracing them, learning from them and problem solving with them. I am now ready to take these skills to a civic level and be a servant leader in this vibrant and growing city.
Also, I really like budgets.
Kaitlin Moore Morley
Candidate For At -Large Seat On The Evansville City Council
FOOTNOTE: We ask Kaitlin to write this article in the first person and we would post it without editing. We must admit that her article is very informative. In the published photo are Kaitlin and her husband Darren.