Friday, April 20, 2012

He approached me with a cup of coffee and his big grin. "Hey, congratulations!" he said. We went to seminary together and did Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) together as well. While not regularly in communication, we see each other at these larger gatherings of churches.
"Congratulations for what?" I asked. "For crossing the 30 year mark of ordination." he said. "That's a big deal!" Well, he was of the same cohort, so he was celebrating his 31st with me.
What does it mean to be doing something over 30 years? I know what it means in my marriage. It means we are tuned in to each other in ways I cannot imagine. It means our likes and dislikes merge and converge with a dance-like delight.
But 31 years of ordained ministry! Wow! I think about the church I grew up in and the church I trained for. I think about the shifts and trends in our culture and within the church and families. I'm awed by the continual power of God's word for my life and in the worship life of a congregation. I'm humbled by both how far I've come and how far I still need to grow and mature. Maybe now I'm slower to take that critical shot at a leader or movement and quicker to repent of hurting someone and going into prayer. I'm awed at being allowed to be a pastor of a wonderful parish. And I can't wait to get in the car after the meetings are done today and go home to Martha...and the church.


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