Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ordination Redux

My friend Cassie was approved for ordination last night, and this morning she and I had a conversation filled with laughter and excitement, revisiting the Presbytery meeting, talking about her plans for her ordination service, and reminiscing about mine.  

And then I had to make two long drives, so I listened to my CDs.  Including twice to the music, and twice to the sermon.  (And yes, EVD, if you're reading this: that was one magnificent sermon, which spoke directly to everything my life has been about since 9/2/08.)

It was a really, really, REALLY exciting day.  It was also, for me, permeated with the loss of Josh, whom I needed to be there.  And it was smack in the middle of Breast Cancer, Part I, so after I finally got up and took a long walk the next day, it was right back to doctors and tests and surgery.

In other words, it would be my guess that a lot of people get to focus on such a service with a singular intensity that eluded me.

But as I listened to the CDs, I remembered that it was beautiful, and moving, and did almost accomplish one of the tasks I had articulated to my own pastor: to redeem that sanctuary from the also very beautiful but almost intolerably sad funeral service that had taken place there three years previous. 

And there was this incredible line in the congregation's set of responses after the ordination questions:

Do we accept Robin as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, chosen by God to guide us in the way of Jesus Christ? 

Really?  Isn't that rather an  extraordinary affirmation? 

Really?  That's who I am and what I'm doing now, in my own blundering and entirely inadequate kind of way?

It sounds so different, a year later.  So impossible.

I see why Cassie was glowing last night, but seriously: what kind of a person would consider herself up to such a thing?

Obviously you have to understand that it doesn't have much to do with you.  But I'm feeling reluctant even to step out the front door again.


  1. It's like the question we ask at baptisms: Do you fully understand what you are undertaking? Victor always leans over and whispers, not hardly.

    There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace. -- Ignatius of Loyola

    Congratulations on the first year!

    1. I often pondered that quote in seminary. Good to revisit it!

  2. It's an awesome responsibility that only the broken and humble should undertake. You qualify.

  3. I would love to listen to the CD of your ordination service!

    Thank you all that you bring and all that you are.


    1. You could listen to me goof up the very beginning of the communion liturgy :( !

    2. Ahhhh...so you gave a gift to the congregation showing that we can all goof up and it is still holy. A blessing indeed.

  4. When I read this, I wonder if you ever think about your journey in amazement as to where God has brought you. It has not been an easy journey but you have ministered in so many different ways.

    1. Lynda, I guess I'm finally finding the time to think about it now, which is why I'm suddenly writing about it. You, too, have an extraordinary and extraordinarily amazing journey.