On Wednesday, June 11, 2008 I was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. I woke up in the middle of the night on June 12 and quietly said to myself, “I am ordained.” It didn’t seem right.
The journey to ordination took seven years. We jokingly called the process hoop jumping. There were meetings, books, papers, and questions…retreats, reports, and more meetings rounded out the journey. In the end, could it have been shorter? Yes. In the end, could the three inch binders (yes, plural) that organized my paperwork have fit into one three ring binder? yes.
Today, though, what I take with me are the faithful who walked with me on the path to ordination. What I take with me are the moments of laughter and accountability, of joy and wonder, of hope and service that allowed me to experience God in Christ in wonderful ways. The steps towards ordination often seemed redundant and frustrated me. I simply wanted to get on with it. What I have come to understand standing on this side of the process is God’s timing is not my timing.
So I give thanks for a holy moment filled with grace. I give thanks for the heavy hands placed upon me reminding me of the responsibility of the orders I received. I give thanks for family and friends who surrounded me with prayer, guided me on my way, and confronted me with God’s amazing grace. I give thanks for simple words spoken in great truth by a ‘gangsta’ bishop (with thanks to Rudy Rasmus and apologies to Bishop Ough), take thou authority to preach the word of God and administer the holy sacraments. I receive with gratitude the honor of being ordained to word, order, sacrament and service and the responsibility to live into the call God has placed on my heart. Thanks be to God for all he has done and continues to do in me!
To view photos from the ordination worship service click here: