A year and a half ago I started my official journey towards ordination when I received a positive entrance decision to begin candidacy. There are a few major interviews in this process, which I am thankful for. The screening, background checks, reflective essay writing, and interviews with various people help us to really think seriously about this calling and consider what it takes to serve God’s Church.
After completing my first year of full-time coursework and CPE this summer, I was ready to experience the next part of candidacy. Endorsement comes after the first year of seminary and CPE. It involves looking at the candidate’s grades, coursework, CPE supervisor report, CPE self-evaluation, and an endorsement essay.
Last week I had my endorsement interview. After months of preparation through prayer and fasting, I made my way to the synod office.
The interview was held by my candidacy committee chair and included my relator and my faculty advisor at Luther. It was definitely an experience of the Holy Spirit working together in all of us. Even with the distance that was created by two of the members conferencing in on the phone, it was still a holy moment.
We discussed my CPE supervisor’s evaluation of my time in CPE and talked about what I might look for as I consider internship. Internship is the next step in my path towards ordination and will come for me as I finish my seminary coursework, God willing, in 2018.
In my endorsement essay I wrote about the responsibility of serving the church, and this is something I also consider as I look towards internship.
As I consider my calling, I am challenged by the tremendous responsibility that comes with ministry, and I am excited by that same responsibility. I feel honored and humbled by God as a redeemed sinner who has been given the great opportunity and blessing to enter the ordination process, attend seminary, and work towards becoming an ordained minister. I also keep in mind two important facts from “Vision and Expectations”. First, that “ordained ministers are called by God through the church for a ministry of servanthood”. Second, that “ordained ministry is a privilege granted by God through the call of the church and is not a right of the individual”. These quotes remind me of the holy responsibility that comes with ministry and how it is about so much more than just me; it’s about the whole community of God’s people.
After the interview, the panel needed to confer, so I walked down to the river.
What a wonderful day this was!
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.