Seven Years of Ordination
This is one of those weeks.
I have admittedly overcommitted myself to podcast appearances, interviews, webinars and writing assignments related to my book, in addition to this being a heavily busy planning time for the fall year ahead at church (in which we know all our best laid plans will likely be thrown upside down and inside out due to Covid, but we are trying anyway).
Today I had a deadline for another writing assignment, I did my first outdoor visit to a resident at an assisted living facility, complete with 6-foot+ paddle for Holy Communion distribution during Covid, and I also have been busy at work tallying up sermon notes and preparing for a new year of Confirmation: outdoors, masked, and virtual will likely be a part of it all!
In the midst of this busyness, with both of my boys (aged 7 and 4) at home and my engineer husband also attempting to design buildings and conduct meetings from home, life sometimes feels a little crazy.
I'm trying to remember that I always feel this way this time of year, as we prepare for another school year and program year at church, but this year I don't even have the State Fair cheese curds and Dairy Barn malts to get me through.
Lost in the busyness of this time of year is often my realization that another anniversary of ordination has come and gone. I celebrated seven official years as an ordained Lutheran pastor yesterday. So today, I wanted to look back at each of those years and share a memory.
Now one caveat, ordination does not equal ministry years. Many people are never ordained and yet serve extensively as ministers and leaders in the church. I served a year as an intern pastor and a few years as a journalist who wrote about issues of faith in sports before starting seminary. I also spent several months as a chaplain intern before I was ordained. So - ordination doesn't = ministry. But it does give a benchmark to remember each year, and, in the Lutheran Church where I am ordained, ordination begins when a church votes to call you as their pastor! I love that part. Ministry begins with the call not of an institution or a building but with a congregation of people who commit their trust and faith and grace to you as their pastor. I've been unreasonably blessed in that area.
So here we go -- 7 years of ordination memories!