Tonight, at 7 PM, I will present two excerpts from my Ordination paper to whoever might gather in the fellowship space of my home church. This it the rite of passage in the United Church of Christ. This is my exam. They are sometimes brutal but it is just after New Years, and Epiphany is on the hearts of many a local pastor so I'm expecting (blessedly) low attendance. But, how strange. It will be held in the room that I started Confirmation when I was 13. We had sleepovers in youth group in this room. I played spoons there and watched a marathon movie of Martin Luther. It's one of those spaces with tons of memories. And boy, it is so weird to be home. I'm not sure if I am coming or going. And I can't help but feel this weird sense of "do I really live in Maine?" It's bizarre.
Though perhaps not as strange though as rereading my Ordination paper. The last section (the second excerpt I will share tonight) is about my call. How I understand it, why this community, how it has evolved... Blah, blah, blah. I barely wrote anything about the community I currently serve which actually makes sense. I was really confused and wounded when I accepted the call. In many ways, I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing. It seemed right and I talked myself into it. I had been offered another call. But, there was issues of sexual misconduct among the clergy. It was sad and devestating, so I wasn't sure. So, as I reread my paper, I now understand why the Committee on Ordination and Ministerial Standing only asked me about the church. I didn't say anything about it. Now, I want to add to the paper. I want to explain why it is right. I want to explain how it all connects.
Rarely does anyone not pass this exam, but I'm still nervous. It's such a strange, strange moment. And I just sent my ordination invitations in the mail this morning. Yikes. Fingers crossed.