I have been asked to preach at a service of ordination.
I’m terrified and thrilled and moved and honored and oh, so hopeful. The woman being ordained has been a pastor for years. She has led and blessed and moved and witnessed as a whole woman of God in a denomination that welcomes her wholeness.
But she had to search far from home to find that denomination. Because she is a same-gender-loving woman, she has been forced to wander through many places of parch and pain until she found herself in the Metropolitan Community Church where she was welcomed and is welcomed and there she has been.
And, her heart kept calling her home; home to the Lutheran church which, until a year or so ago, would not welcome the full glory of her being.
She is coming home on Sunday. She will be ordained in the ELCA, a denomination willing to pray and ground and be in the way of Jesus; inclusive and welcoming of All God’s Children.
This is weeping material for my heart. I feel such gratitude for her courage and tenacious belief that the church can be grace. I feel hope for a world in which the church is willing to be living grace. I feel humbled by the preaching task and honored and I pray so very fervently that some day my church, the United Methodist Church, will allow the floodgates of grace to open for all of God’s beloveds.
We need that washing of grace.
Isn’t it incredible to see how much we’ve grown as a community of Christians. It’s exciting to see how much we’ve changed and become more focused on grace and love then judgment and hatred. And as I sit at church at look at all the pictures of our pastors there – it struck me right away that you are the 1st woman pastor there. That’s incredible too. So while I learned from Robyn that change comes about sometimes slower than we’d like – it does happen if people of faith persist in that faith. I know you’ll be your amazing self tomorrow.
Ah, thank you. Actually, I’m the first woman Lead pastor. We’ve had amazing women clergy at RUMC over the years who served as associates. Tomorrow is amazing, and I feel so blessed to be part of it.