We have blogged a bit about our journey through the ordination process of The United Methodist Church (see our last post or Our Journey Toward Ordination for the longer story). We are currently working through the final stages of this process, having been commissioned as Provisional Elders in June 2009. We are on target to be ordained as Full Elders in June 2011.
There have been some changes at the denominational level (reducing the final stage from three years to two) and at the conference level in recent months/years. With the formation of the new Susquehanna Conference (from the Central Pennsylvania and part of the Wyoming conferences), some new changes have recently been made.
We just learned yesterday at an informational meeting with the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry that a couple of the current requirements (creating a Bible study and writing a leadership paper) are being replaced with an Ordination Project. We think this is a good development and improves the process!
The Ordination Project is essentially a project that we initiate and/or lead in the church. It has to be something new, something innovative — hopefully something we’d be doing anyway! We will have to write a reflection paper on it as well as give a 15-minute multimedia presentation at next year’s Board of Ordained Ministry interviews (March 2011).
We were told that since this is beginning with our class of ordinands, that we are “guinea pigs.” I prefer “trail blazers.” 🙂
Fortunately, since we’re caught in the mid-year crunch (future classes will have two full years to plan and develop their projects; we have less than a year), we can go as far back to when we were approved for Commissioning (March 2009).
While we’ll need to put some more thought into it, it’s likely that one or both of us will do something with our journeys through the Five Practices.
The next step for both of us, though, is to write proposals for our projects. We have several months to submit them, but we want to do so as soon as possible.
We will have quite a bit of work to do and/or seminars/retreats to attend over the course of the next year, but one year from this week, we anticipate our final interviews with the Board of Ordained Ministry. Upon approval, we will be ordained at annual conference in June 2011.