I am confident of this: that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ… And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight, to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God
- Philippians 1:6, 9–11
This Saturday marks the completion of a process that has defined over a quarter of my life. On June 12 (the day after my birthday), I will be ordained as an Elder in The United Methodist Church in our very own sanctuary.
Never could I have pictured the precise route this journey to ordained ministry has taken in my life. It has reset my professional and personal aspirations, moved me away from my beloved Texas to another state (and then back to Texas again), and even helped to sustain me during a global pandemic and other moments of personal uncertainty. Yet, through the sheer bizarreness and unpredictability of this complex and consuming process, I have learned to entrust more and more of my life to Jesus Christ and his Church.
I am particularly grateful for the ways that this church has encouraged, parsed, and bolstered my call to be an Elder. You have allowed me to try new things, made space for me to fail and to learn, and always offered words of reassurance and grace whenever I have wavered or doubted myself or God.
And now, I want to invite you to celebrate with me as we enjoy the culmination of this eight-year journey. While I wish that each of you could be in our sanctuary on Saturday, unusual circumstances have dictated that the Rio Texas Conference only allow family and invited guests to be physically present for the service. On Saturday, June 12, at 11am, you are invited to watch the live stream of the Service of Commissioning and Ordination through the Conference website. Here is the link to that live stream: https://riotexas.org/live As a bonus, you will also get to witness the vastly superior and gifted Becca McNitzky be recognized as a commissioned Deacon (though she has technically been commissioned for a year now).
While this may be the end of my process toward ordination, I also know that this is only the beginning. Just like Baptism is, for every one of us, the moment we begin our discipleship under Jesus Christ, Saturday will be the genesis of a new part of my clerical life. I relish any prayers you would offer on behalf of me and all those who are being ordained and commissioned on Saturday, as we all seek to serve the Church faithfully and fruitfully.
More than anything else, I want you to know how grateful I am to be doing this holy work alongside all of you. I pray that we all will be blessed as we each seek to be faithful to the calls God has placed upon our lives and upon University.