This post is part of a series on My Faith Journey.
I knew I would have to be “ordained” if I was going to follow this path as my vocation and my job. (More about ordination here .)
Each faith group has its own process that varies in time widely from a few weeks to several years. I was ordained the first time by my home Baptist church when I was 22 years old as a seminarian. It took just a few weeks.
My path and professional life over the next 30+ years gave me the opportunity to be a pastor, then an associate pastor and pastoral counselor in two congregations, a Chaplain in a HIV/AIDS Clinic, and now as a director of pastoral care at a hospital.
Along the way I followed my wife, Mary Bea Sullivan, to the Episcopal Church as we searched for a new spiritual home together after our marriage. (More about that here …)
So today, I am ordained (Baptist) in my work (Chaplain), and a lay person in my church (Episcopal). Nothing is wrong with that except I want to align my life professionally and personally. Or put another way, I want to be who I am. And so I entered a new process, and it has taken a few years in my new church.
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, I will be ordained by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama at Grace Episcopal Church in Cullman, AL at 6:00 pm as a “transitional Deacon.” This is the first of two ordinations in the Episcopal Church to remind me of my humility (which is helpful), and then God willing, ordained as a priest in about 6 months or so.
Grace Church is the only Episcopal Church I’ve ever been a member of, and they are the people who have welcomed me and loved me through this process. You are invited to join us for this blessing. If you cannot come, your prayers are more than enough.
I plan to continue at the hospital because this is where I feel called to be for now. That’s really all any of us can say. After more than three decades I have no idea where this path will lead. I just want to be open to God’s call in my life.
Finally, I want to share a secret with you. We have something in common, you and me, because YOU too have been ordained already.
God’s hands were placed on your head at birth, and God was and is, blessing you, ordaining you right now. Take a moment and just imagine that. Breathe it in. The God of the universe is ordaining you.
Hear God’s voice as God leans over to whisper in your ear, “Come and see what I have planned for you.”
This voice is the path to your vocation. It is your calling. It’s not so much about how you earn a living, as it is about how you are called to be a blessing to the world. Be who you already are, you are invited to align your life and bless the world around you.
Where is your path leading you these days? Can you imagine it?
Be open, come and see what God is planning for you. And congratulations on your ordination.
*******************Grace Episcopal Church 305 Arnold Street, NE Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-6212 Directions from Grace Episcopal Church website Google Maps turn by turn directions