On Sunday I’m going to be ordained as a priest (10am on N. Quincy St.). My ordination will be a culmination of a roughly six-year process that I’ve been going through involving probably hundreds of conversations, a seminary degree, multiple internships and an extensive examination process by the church. It will also be the final service in the building on N. Quincy St., which I think is pretty special. In the days leading up to it, I’ve felt a range of emotions, from excitement and gratitude to an awareness of the gravity of the vows I’ll be taking.
So what does all this mean? Well, ordination can be described in different ways, depending on your perspective, but at its most basic level, it’s the church commissioning someone to lead: in worship, teaching, discipleship and the direction of the church or a given ministry.
This is both a great honor and a great responsibility. Not surprisingly, as I’ve grown into this role over the last several months, I’ve become acutely aware of some of areas where I need to grow. At the same time, though, I’ve been surprised to discover some gifts that I didn’t realize I had. All along, it’s been amazing to be part of a community where I’ve found both grace and affirmation, and I’ve seen growth in my relationship with and reliance upon God in ways that I had never experienced before.
One thing that has particularly struck me in preparing for ordination is that Christian leadership always takes the form of service. It’s no accident that priests in our tradition are first ordained as deacons (the Greek word for servant), and I won’t cease to be a deacon on Sunday. I’ll be given greater authority, especially with regard to the sacraments, but service will continue to be the heart of my ministry as a priest.
- This means that my job will be to serve you, which is a huge privilege.
- It also means that, as I’m commissioned to lead, I will be leading you and partnering with you to do the same, to serve each other and the world around us. I get really excited when I dream about what our story will look like as Christ’s sacrificial love continues to take shape in our lives!
So, as I get ready to take on this role, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone at Restoration. Thank you for both your encouragement and challenging words as I continue to grow as a leader. Thank you for the privilege of serving alongside of you. And thank you for the way that you have welcomed Rachel and me into this community. We truly feel that Restoration has become our home over the last nine months. I ask you to keep us in your prayers, and I look forward to this next chapter of our lives together.