Writing may be a calling for Melissa, but it is not the only one for her. Taking initiative to connect to a unique category of people in the Omaha community, Christian singles, Melissa began a ministry program in 2014. A statement on the Word and Flesh Ministries website explains its intent:
Word and Flesh Ministries is an outreach for single Christians with a three-fold purpose:
• To provide theologically supported truths about marriage and singleness
• To actively encourage and support marriage-minded Christian singles who desire to find godly spouses
• To meet the needs of and provide encouragement to Christians who feel called to singleness. (Word and Flesh Ministries)
Feeling a need for a good support system in her own life as a single woman, as well as the lives of many others, Melissa created the Word and Flesh Ministries. Melissa has always had a strong faith, but felt that churches were not sending out positive, truthful messages to Christian singles, as churches often emphasize the importance of marriage and family life (Conroy). The Word and Flesh Ministries serve as a way to promote theological discussion and research about biblical accuracy when it comes to being single.
In addition to studying the Bible, the group also “[looks] very heavily into the cultural/social/economic background [of singleness], because really throughout human history there was not the ability to remain single like we have nowadays” (Conroy). Women depending on their husbands to provide for them is a topic that Melissa covers. The influence of feminism, of independent women, has made it possible for a woman to remain single if she so chooses.
However, the Word and Flesh Ministries is not limited to theological discussions. They are a true community that gathers socially. Once a month, they go swing dancing, and they also host speed-dating events (Word and Flesh Ministries). “We try to bring people together into social settings with the purpose of sparking relationships” (Conroy). Whether or not people find love within the group, outside of it, or not at all, the core of the ministry is to provide a place where individuals who share a common belief can gather together and find a sense of belonging.
Between helping out those in need, writing novels, working, and spending time with her beloved basset hound, Erasmus, Melissa leads a busy life. She has already accomplished a great deal, but the future is sure to hold even more for her. It is no wonder that a person which such as unique personality chose steampunk as a hobby. Self-publishing under an up-and-coming literary subgenre is not an easy task, but Melissa took the challenge in stride. Melissa’s life is evidence that all experiences are important for personal growth and success, whether it be through traveling, working, education, or hobbies.