So, God called. God called, and I was busy, so I put the call on hold. For a long time. A really long time. God is patient. To a point. But eventually, God wants to get God’s point across. And as the psalmist asked, (Psalm 139), where could I go to escape from God’s presence? Well, nowhere. So eventually, I answered the call. And I went to seminary.
Well, I have one more semester to go. In March, I’ll face the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) of the Unitarian Universalist Association. They will determine whether or not I will get fellowship in the Association. If I get fellowship, I can, in good conscience, ask my congregation to ordain me (we are congregational in our polity, so the power to ordain rests in the congregation).
In order to see the MFC, I have to write a whole bunch of stuff. I have to send them a packet full of things. Essays and competencies, and recommendations and transcripts and things. So I’ve been working on that. That’s due WAY before I see them in March. I have to get my packet to them by the end of January. So it’s on my mind.
But here’s the thing. In all this preparation, and study and writing and all, something happened. I’ve realized recently that I am a minister. Now, don’t mistake what I’m saying here. I’m not an ordained minister. I’m not a fellowshipped minister. But I am a minister.
I’ve been working as an intern in my church since September. I did have a lot of experience when I started. I’d already completed my chaplaincy internship (and I REALLY need to get on my chaplaincy residency applications – like NOW), and I’ve been working as an on-call chaplain from time-to-time. I also have a lot of experience in lay-leadership positions in my home congregation. But that didn’t make me feel like a minister the minute I walked through the door.
Lately I’ve noticed that I do feel like a minister. I hope I’m behaving like one.
I know what my job is. I think I’m doing it. The feedback I get leads me to believe I’m doing it. But the big thing for me is that I realize that I’m not waiting to run absolutely everything by my supervisor first. There are times when I just do things because they need to be done. I’m the pastor who is available. I’m doing my job.
So when I get to the MFC in March, I think I’d better show up as Pastor Madelyn. People keep telling me they have faith in me, which is great. I hope they do, too. But more important, at this point, I realize that I have faith in myself.
Whatever the MFC tells me, I know now that I can do my job. I am doing my job. God has called, and I finally answered, and when I let God work through me, it works!
It’s been a long journey, and it’s not over yet, but I think I can see where I”m going now. At least I think I can see how I’m getting there. Thank you, Lord, for walking with me. Thank you, Lord, for your steady guiding hand on my shoulder. Thank you for your steadfast love.
You called. Behold! Here I am.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.