April 19, 2010

One day I will be a Reverend

This past weekend I attended the Deacon Dialogue at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and the calling I have been feeling in my life was very strongly confirmed.

For years I have felt called into ministry. I originally entered undergrad at Concordia with the intention of earning a degree in religion and becoming a youth pastor. My time had not yet arrived, and early on in college I found myself at ends with all religion. I would flounder back and forth, some weeks I would hate everything having to do with the Church and be pretty sure I didn't even believe God. Other weeks I would be researching seminary and what it took to be ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

At the end of undergrad, I found myself with a strong passion for social justice and searching to reconcile with the Church. I entered grad school in Chicago and quickly became involved with the United Church of Rogers Park. This past year I have been working there and found myself feeling more and more called into ministry. I began exploring the position of deacon in the United Methodist Church.

Deacons are ordained persons who are called to connect the Church with the world and the world with the Church. This is what I believe I am called to do. I think that there is such a disconnect with these two things. The Church ignores the world and the world ignores the Church. The Church wants to insulate itself from the messiness of the world. But this is not what Jesus did. He didn't lock himself away in the temple and teach only to those like him. He spent his time in the streets and got involved in the messiness of life. While doing this he taught about the radical love of God to all who would listen. This is what I am called to do.

So, I have begun the ordination process as a deacon. Next fall, I will begin seminary with the hopes of at least completing the requirements for ordination, but hopefully also earning my PhD. This is a crazy path that I didn't forsee myself traveling down, but it feels right. So now we will see where it takes me.