I have a couple things to share with you all this month. The first is about my upcoming ordination as an Interfaith Chaplain. As many of you know, I’ve been attending seminary at the Chaplaincy Institute (ChI for short) for the last two years. Because of covid, all my classes shifted to Zoom (like everything else!), but I still had a wonderful and rich experience at ChI. I’ve now completed all my seminary requirements and been approved for ordination, which is currently scheduled for April 9th. The ordination ceremony will be streamed on YouTube, and you all will get an announcement with the link if you want to “attend” then.
Why did I decide to answer this call to ministry, and in this way? It was not because I was dissatisfied with my role and my calling here with you all at OUUC. I have no plans to go anywhere! In many ways, I have been fortunate to already have a role and a community that has allowed my gifts of ministry to flourish for many years. But I did feel called to go deeper, and that is just what ChI provided for me. It is not a UU program, and it is not as academically focused as I usually am …. And that was just what I needed. This journey with seminary and ordination has been a journey deeper into my own heart and spirit, and has pulled me down out of my head and into deeper integration. I feel more fully engaged as my whole self because of this formation work I’ve been doing.
The other change that will come with ordination is that I can show up in the larger community as an ordained faith leader, which does have advantages for prophetic social and environmental justice work. I feel deeply called to tend to a world and the beings in it that are suffering and struggling. Some of that can be addressed within the circle of our congregational community, and some of that is a larger ministry to the world.
And my second piece of news is that I will be taking the other half of my planned sabbatical from Feb. 1 – May 1st. During that time, I will have a two month “personal reading retreat”, attend the retreat and the ordination from ChI, attend a professional conference, and serve my volunteer commitment to the religious education credentialing committee of the UUA. We have plans in place to support the people and the programs of the congregation while I am away, which I’ll share in the coming weeks.
So, before I am away, what are your questions? I’ll try to answer them in the next three issues of the Spark, so please send me your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In loving faith,