Folks I began a journey some three years ago. The journey to go to seminary and possibly become ordained in the PCUSA. There were many twists and turns along the way. I hit some pretty rough spots. I mourned deeply for moments that I felt alone and abandoned by the process.
I wrestled for some idea of what, where, and why I was called. I felt at times I had no call. In other moments I knew I was called. Many of my professors, friends, classmates, administrators, and a few strangers affirmed my call.
I graduated this past May. I have not passed a single ordination exam. I am still an inquier, after ywo and a halfs years in the process. I am frustrated. I am discouraged. I fell like calling it quits.
I hear many beautiful and affirming stories about the call process we are required to endure n the way to the big kids club. I know it works, for some folks. For others it is a living nightmare.
It is my conviction that if you do not absolutely follow the flow and funk of the process to a T you are left out in the dark. The system is rigid and cold. It has a veiled sense of flexibility. Yet we lose many beautiful, creative people to other denominations. Why?
The ordination system has become another way to “watchdog” the in-crowd. The ordination system was never designed to institute power and exclude the honor of service. I hear that it is a privilege and not a right to be ordained. You may be right [folks that offer this]. I counter, “If you hold that as truth then I question your belief in a body of all believers.” Especially in these days. Ordination can exclude. To what are we ordaining? Why?
I yearn for a time when the ordination process is not a hazing ceremony capturing all the power mongering fantastics of a fraternity rush week. When the denomination decides to relinquish power and move in a direction that is truly free of oppression and division we can proclaim a rightful gospel message that we ourselves practice and not just speak of.
How can we walk with all of our aspiring leaders? How can we reach out and walk along side of them? We need another “big-steeple” like we need another hole in our @$$. I pray that the powers that be take the message on the Mount seriously and unclench their fist. What are you protecting? What are you protecting for? Christ is at hand…he is not worried about ordination.