Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ordination: Reflections

 I keep thinking that I must have something profound to say.  I guess that what I would say is this:  

My favorite professor preached something that we all needed to hear, and a couple of people actually did.  I welcomed everyone to communion, because in the stories of centuries of religious exclusion and inclusion there is not a doubt in my mind about where the sacrament fits.  Tears mingled as I served people whose losses have become mine as mine have become theirs, and those with whom I have worked to learn and minister for the past several years.

But really, one of my friends, who is always far more eloquent than almost anyone else I know, says it best.  I hope that it doesn't seem self-serving to post it (with her permission).

I attended the ordination of a friend today. Someone who has worked years and years to become a minister of word and sacrament.  There were so many beautiful moments throughout the worship service: the litany of ministers in their formal black robes and red stoles, the songs sweeping into descant, the promises we had to make to help Robin live into her calling.  I loved watching Clover's proud face. The pews filled with family.  I loved watching the stream of people come up to take the bread of life from Robin.  How some paused for a hug, how some leaned into Robin's cheek to deliver a kiss, how Chris Henry touched Robin's chest -- put a palm to her heart.  There was a moment when the western setting sun came through the window and lighted upon Robin's face -- just her face.  Like a kiss, or a distant blessing.  There was definitely a presence of something larger there in that moment. No, something larger was there most of the afternoon.

It made me want to start an ordination movement.  Ordaining my neighbors, especially Sheridan who cut her pumpkin naked today.  Ordain the teenagers walking past the library.  Ordain my colleagues tomorrow at work.  Ordain the crossing guards, the Starbucks baristas, the nursery school teachers, the public defenders.  Ordain the dying and those who care for them.  Ordain the nurses in the ER, the doctors telling the bad news.  I wanted to ordain everyone.  Let everyone know that they are filled with resurrecting power and light.  I wanted everyone to know that they are loved by many, that they are important people called to do important work. It was a beautiful day, one that made us all want to stretch out farther and more lovingly.  For that, and for Robin, I give great thanks. 

Communion Music:


  1. Thank you, Robin. These eloquent words helped me feel just a bit closer to that church in Ohio from all the way here in Chicago. What a lovely thought - an ordination movement.
    And that bucket of grace you dumped my way the other day was received with so much gratitude. Bless you for ministering from afar.

    If you have a little extra room for another suffering mother in your heart, please hold that of the one in our neighboring community who came home from work to find her 14-yr-old daughter stabbed to death. They believe the child walked in on burglary in progress. Dear God, the madness.

    an ordination movement...

  2. WOW...that post brought tears. "ordain everyone. Let everyone know that they are filled with resurrecting power and light." Amen to that. I'm grateful that idea began there with your ordination.

  3. Blessings, Robin, on your ordination -- and I'm with the movement! It simply RINGS!!!

  4. Blessings to you on your ordination. I have been a Presbyterian pastor for 23 years. The joys and challenges of ministry are rich. Thank you for sharing your journey on your blog. And I am particularly grateful that you shared the music you chose for your ordination service. Discovering that piece of Dan Schutte was a great gift for me this week. Our choir has ordered the music.

  5. What a beautiful tribute. I loved getting the poetic recap of this long-worked-for/long-awaited day. I am so very happy for you and all who will be blessed by your leadership. A new chapter begins.

  6. that was Karen EAST