Last Wednesday night’s ordination service was an event I’ll always remember, even though I think I’ll spend a lot more time processing exactly what happened there. Fortunately, I can go online and watch the service if I forget anything!
On Sunday, I wore my stole for the first time. It felt good after having held off for three years during my probationary (yes, yes provisional) period to wear it. I know that everyone feels differently about this, but for me it was a tangible sign of my new identity as an Elder in Full Connection. Strangely enough, I do feel a little different after the whole experience of ordination, even though I can’t quite explain it.
Other than my ordination, Annual Conference was pretty typical this year: hours of reports and lots of coffee with friends. The only other new experience was seeing the beginning of a new quadrennium. There was a little bit of political intrigue as the Board of Ordained Ministry is electing a new Chair person. As for me, I serve on two different committees. I’ve been on the Mission and Service Ministry Team since 2006, and now I’ll be serving as Vice-Chair of that committee. I’m also on the Young Adult Council, most likely because I’m 31.
It feels strange not to think about anything related to preparing for ordination. After all, this has been an important focus for nearly eight years of my life. However, now I’ll be shifting to focus more on my D.Min. I’ll be flying out to Madison, NJ in a couple of weeks to begin the on-campus portion of the degree. I’ll be taking a methods course, an exegesis course on Job, and a course on prophetic leadership. I’m looking forward to the extended time for study, but I’m not looking forward to being away from my wife and kids.
Well, I think that’s it for now. I’ve been reading a terrific book I read at AC called Evangelism after Christendom by Bryan Stone, and his discussion of evangelism as a MacIntyrian “practice,” has me really giving some thought to our conference’s new “strategic plan.” It seems to me that the distinction between goods internal and external to a practice could really help us think more clearly about what we’re doing and why. Maybe I’ll throw a post up on that in a couple of days. Until then, grace & peace!