It's been a good day - make that a GREAT day.
We started with worship at our home church this morning. I did one last children's message, then helped serve communion. It was more touching than I imagined to do that one last time. G&T sang a beautiful song during communion. I'm gonna miss hearing him in worship for a while till he decides to let the new church in on his gift. Then the church threw a party for us with expressions of thanks and gifts and cake and punch and hugs and tears and everything. We thanked them for loving us too. Next was lather, rinse, repeat for worship except G&T sat with me which almost never happens.
Stage 2: Off to another city for clergy session of Annual Conference were I along with 18 others were presented and voted on for full membership in the conference and ordination. Glad to say we are all "in." Lots more hugs and congratulations.
Stage 3: To the arena for more hugs and barbecue followed by worship which was great including a good illustration about thermostats and thermometers. Would probably been a better illustration if the thermostat for the building had not been set on "freezing."
Stage 4: Back to the hotel with dogblogger for debriefing and checking out the cool gifts and cards accumulated throughout the day. Thanks to dogblogger, I am now the proud owner of two RGBP t-shirts including the one that says "Does this pulpit make my butt look big?" She's been waiting for 4 years for me to have a pulpit so she could get it for me.
Stage 5: Winding down so I can rest to wind up for the big day tomorrow. Meetings all day, then ordination in the evening.
I realize this is just a blow by blow report. If I even begin to go down the road of emotions and gratitude, I'll be here all night. I have been intentional ly attending to my spiritual and emotional life over the last few days as I have pondered the magnitude of ordination and the honor of serving God in this way. I'll blog more about it later.
So in the meantime, all of you who have prayed for and encouraged me, please know I am grateful and have felt your prayers.
P.S. Among the gifts was a second awesome new stole made with tender loving care by my friends at church. They made the first one(red) when I was commissioned 4 years ago. It has been a beacon of hope for that time and will be placed on my shoulders tomorrow night at ordination. I'll wear the second one (white) for the Memorial Service on Tuesday. Thanks y'all!