For the first time since I started my blog almost four years ago, I have changed the description on my profile. Instead of "on the journey toward ordination" it now reads "recently ordained." I was ordained on Monday evening, June 7, 2010. I want to say I have completed a nine year journey, looking back at a long and winding path leading to this very place where I rest in the cool shade, kneel at the altar that is the trunk of a fallen tree and bask in the sheer beauty of this place. But, the truth is there is still a winding path ahead, and I cannot rest too long in this beautiful place.
On Tuesday, my new District Superintendent read my appointment effective July 1 (at least officially) as a solo pastor for a small church about 25 miles from my home . I am already well into the transition having met with the current pastor a couple of times and having done significant worship and transition planning. Tonight, G&T and I will have dinner with the lay leader and a handful of folks she's invited.
I am both excited and anxious about this new phase in my life. I will appreciate your prayers in the coming weeks.
Now for the story. One of the honors new ordinands have at Annual Conference is participating in the memorial service that remembers clergy and clergy spouses who have died in the last year. This particular service was poignant for our ordination class as one of our group was participating as a family member remembering her husband's death in December. The only other person I knew in the roll call of the saints was PB, a clergy person I only met once but who had a great impact on my life. The ordinands had two roles in the service. The first was to carry in the light with one candle for each person being remembered. The second was to place one white rose in a vase as each name was called. The order in which we processed and sat was randomly determined and involved some last minute shuffling. This meant the order in which we presented the roses was randomly determined also. As we began moving down the list of names, I counted ahead and realized that the rose I would carry would be for the man who was Manboy's birthmother's pastor and who helped perform the placement service in the hospital chapel when she placed Manboy in our arms. We have the service on video and we usually watch it sometime around "gotcha day" each year, so PB's memory will live on in our hearts. It was an honor to carry his rose on Tuesday.