“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you.” -Parker Palmer
Somehow, the above quote seemed rather appropriate, no? 🙂
I’ve been wanting to post an update to my plea for ‘why Erin should be ordained’ responses earlier this summer, but I’ve also been waiting until I had something to say other than “we’re still meeting…” We did meet. Multiple times. (How did you spend your summer vacation?) There is only one step left…
But here’s the amazing thing—the product of all that meeting is a ‘call’ that is solid in all the ways that it needs to be for Presbyterian stuff, and yet is also vibrant and creative and willing to engage in the unknown of trying something new. I’m so thankful for the partnership of churches within the Los Ranchos Presbytery that has come together to make this ‘legitimate’ but that is also willing to take a risk to (hopefully) ordain me to be more of a minister to the world, rather than a minister to one particular congregation.
There is still one step remaining in the process—next week, September 17, I will be going before the entire presbytery (pastors and elders from the 50+ churches) to be ‘examined’ for ordination. This is a time when they can ask me pretty much any question and then vote whether or not to ordain me to what is technically called a Minister of Word and Sacrament. Supposedly no one, if they have gotten this far, has ever been voted down at that point. People keep telling me that, I think as an encouragement. I remind them there’s always a first time for everything. 😉
Anyway, for those of you who are in the area (the meeting will be in Fullerton) and who would like to come to the presbytery meeting you are more than invited and I can give you the details. However, the bigger event, provided my ordination is approved, is a “Service for Ordination to Word and Sacrament.” Since I won’t know for sure until next week that this will happen, don’t book a plane ticket yet, but if you are able to keep the afternoon October 18 available, it is looking like that will be the date of the service. I would LOVE for you to come—some of you have been along for the ride on this journey since it began 9 years ago, others of you I’ve roped in along the way, and I am so thankful for all of you and appreciate the part that you’ve played in helping me ‘listen for what life intends to do with me.’
Today is also the 5th anniversary of my dad’s death. In some ways it seems like a very long time ago, and in some ways I wonder how five years could have already passed. My dad had hoped to live to see me ordained. This process clearly was not on that time schedule, nor on the one I would have chosen, had it been up to me—who wants to ‘languish’ in the process for so long? But at the same time, the call to ordination that will be voted on next week could never have happened in this way, five years ago—I just didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle then. Though the waiting was often frustrating, and felt as though there was no end in sight (I remember writing an email about Shasta Daisies taking two years to flower and thinking that was WAY to long to wait for something), I am amazed at how, out of that waiting and the not knowing, this has come to be.
Another quote from the book by Parker Palmer: “Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening.” Thank you for listening along with me, even in the midst of my sometimes willful journey.