Dear friends and family,
I am excited and humbled to share with you that I have been approved for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America!
Was ist das? What all this means is that I have completed most of what needs to be done in order for me to be a pastor! In mid-February, Ben and I will find out what region of the ELCA we have been assigned to (which is a process that involves us giving our preferences, too). After that, depending on the specific processes involved with that region, we will know which Synod we have been assigned to by mid-March at the latest. That is so soon! After that, one or both of us could start interviewing with a church as soon as immediately. Of course, we also need to graduate from seminary in May, and then get married in June 🙂
In some ways you can think of this as 4 ½ years in the making. It was September 2009 when I began the process to officially discern a call to ordained ministry. So much has happened in that time: beginning seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, working at a chaplain in Newport News, Virginia, taking a year to serve through Young Adults in Global Mission, returning to seminary with a new class, going on an internship adventure to Lincoln, Nebraska, and then returning to seminary for my final year of study.
But really, it hasn’t been 4 ½ years in the making– it’s been 27ish. My call to ministry started in December 1987, when I was claimed as a beloved child of God, baptized with the water and the Word, and sealed with the cross of Christ forever. Without that, I would certainly not be where I am today. It was then that I was called into the ministry we all share. The same ministry that so many of you have taken to mean giving guidance and walking alongside me.
So thank you. Thank you to all who have formed and guided me along the way. I hope you all know who you are. It doesn’t just take a village, it takes the body of Christ. I thank God for all of you– my pastors, colleagues, mentors, supervisors, friends and family.
Please keep me and Ben in your prayers as we journey through these next stages together (Ben goes for his Approval Interview tomorrow!). This adventure of serving the church as a (almost) pastor is quite beautiful.