I can describe the couple of months since we were approved for ordination with a few terms: relief, adrenaline crash, and limbo.
Of course, reaching the end of this journey has been a huge relief, but after working toward ordination for so long (including D.Min. programs)—many times we were driven by adrenaline—we simply feel depleted (we’re slowly recovering).
We also feel like we’re in a state of limbo. Because we’ve been approved by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the process is complete. On the other hand, we’re still waiting for ordination. Plus, we have some remaining requirements (an overnight retreat with the bishop next week, and our final regional Learning Covenant Group meeting the following week).
But we are trying to make the most of this time of waiting/anticipating. In January, after submitting work to the Board of Ordained Ministry, I wrote 150 Days of Preparation for Ordination, pending approval. Later, after approval, I revised the list in 75 Days of Preparation for Ordination.
I continue to pray “Wesley’s Covenant Prayer” (fairly regularly). I’m also periodically reviewing the Historic Questions that ordinands are asked prior to ordination (see also Historic Questions 2.0).
I decided to postpone Why Jesus? by William Willimon, but may still try to squeeze it in before ordination. I am currently reading Bishop Willimon’s Pastor: A Reader for Ordained Ministry and will soon start American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists by John Wigger.
Last month, I wrote a post called, Theology of Ordination, based on a quote from Willimon’s book, Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry. In the coming days, I plan to post some quotes/thoughts from the companion book that I’m currently reading, Pastor: A Reader for Ordained Ministry.
Basically, I want ordination to be a meaningful experience, not just a new title we acquire, another level we reach, another item for our bio, or “notch on our gun.” Through ordination, the church recognizes our call and gifts for ordained ministry. We trust it will be meaningful, if for no other reason than the fact that our journey toward ordination has been long and eventful.
T-minus 30 days!