Yesterday I had the privilege of getting ordained. Today, as I reflect on the experience, I am still overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s hard to put my feelings into words.
Many of my worlds collided in the sanctuary of 201 Cowan Avenue, all people I love. As I stood at the front of the church I was struck by the many, many faces that were looking back at me. The room was packed with a cloud of witnesses. Had there been time, I would have thanked each person by name for being there and told stories of how their life has impacted mine.
Some of the people in attendance I have the privilege of counting family, many of whom have known me my entire life. Sitting right near the front were Dion and Cate, the two I start and finish each day with. I could almost picture my parents in the crowd (and was grateful that my step-mother could be) even though my dad has been gone for nearly ten years and my mom since last May. Today, on what would have been my mom’s 71st birthday, I am feeling both her absence and in an inexplicable way, her presence and affirmation.
The journey toward ordination has been a long one for me: it started many years ago and finally picked up pace because of a few people’s strong encouragement, not least of which were my two supervisors Elaine and Andrea. These two women have become my friends and staunch supporters. I want to say a public thank you to them both.
I share all of this with The Dale. This is not my celebration, but ours. Together we are learning to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, to bear with each other, to forgive each other, and to put on love (taken from Colossians 3:12-15). It is messy, and raw, and very beautiful. Thank you for presenting me for ordination, for participating in the service, for decorating the room, and for extending hospitality to such an array of visitors.
It made me very happy to learn that someone left the service saying, “that was all about love”. I suppose those are the words I’ve been looking for to describe my feelings. Yesterday was about love. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.