Following my ordination to ministry service in December, 2015, I want to say, “Thank you, La Verne Church of the Brethren; thank you for being my community of faith and so much more.” It is difficult for me to conceive of ever having ventured into ministry without your insight and encouragement. Truly, it was you who suggested that I consider a vocation in ministry. I never saw that coming! It was you who encouraged me to teach Sunday school, to direct Peace Camp, to sing, to lead worship, and even to preach. You called out gifts in me that I had not recognized in myself.
I am deeply grateful for the years I have been steeped in Brethren theology. Brethren take seriously the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples the night before he died. By sharing a last, loving meal, washing his disciples’ feet, and offering them the symbolic bread and cup, he demonstrated an out-flowing love that sought not to receive but to give. As followers of Jesus, we love God and seek to take that love into the world. And can’t our world use a little practice in humility, service, reconciliation, peace, and justice right now?
Each of us is known to God by our own unique name; and we are called to live fully into the truth that we are perfectly and wonderfully made. What I have learned in this journey towards accepting my gifts and being ordained is that I needed my church community to love me and guide me through the process. You, like me, have been called to boldly offer your gifts to a world that desperately needs your authenticity, compassion, joy, intellect, strength, playfulness, perseverance, curiosity, encouragement, and wisdom.
How is God calling you?