I am really getting down to the wire to finish this project. Today, I am to be voted on by the full clergy session of the Southwest Texas Conference. All ordained elders will be eligible to vote later this afternoon on whether to elect me to “full connection.” If they do, I will be ordained on Saturday. Since I come before the group with a unanimous recommendation from the Board of Ordained Ministry, this is sort of a formality, but it still raises a tiny bit of anxiety. This is the very, very, very last vote in a seven (plus) year process.
But back to the unfolding drama. I enrolled at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where they gave me a full scholarship and a really, really cheap apartment. About that time, there were some staff changes at Oak Hill UMC. I spoke a couple times to Rev. Barbara Ruth, then the senior pastor there and she offered me a part time position as Adult Ministries Coordinator. It paid just enough that Alisha and I would be able to get by.
And then, I was back to the process (which was supposed to be what this was about.) At this point, I had been a United Methodist long enough to continue. I was assigned a Clergy Mentor, Rev. Dick West, at the time, Senior Pastor of Covenant UMC in Austin. I was given a giant binder to work through with him. We met once a month for more discernment, working toward my opportunity to sit in front of my church’s staff parish relations committee and the District Committee on Ordained Ministry. And that is where I will pick up next time!
Preaching in Challenging Times
3 months ago