For so long it’s felt like having to jump through one hoop after another. I’ve worked at the same United Methodist Church for over a decade and have been appointed as one of its associate pastors since 2009. There are very few people who would argue that the ordination process in The United Methodist Church is not only extremely long, especially when a seminary degree is required, but at times is just like jumping through hoops. Some of that has changed for me in the past couple days.
At this year’s Annual Conference, which took place in downtown Indianapolis June 6-8, I was commissioned as a Provisional Elder. This is just a fancy way of saying I am on probation for the next 3yrs before becoming part of a covenant community as an ordained Elder. While that part of the proces is still before me, this is one of the first times I have felt connected to the larger UMC as a denomination after making it through this latest stage of the journey. My commissioning was not only one of the first times I felt connected to something bigger but made this whole process more than just hoop jumping.
I believe The United Methodist Church has a lot to offer, a lot of things to fix inside, and a lot of work to do outside and I’m looking forward to seeing how God might use me to be a part of it.