This past Sunday, as New York was digging out from mountains of snow, I celebrated one of the most important days of my life – I was ordained into authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ. Surrounded by friends, family, mentors in ministry, seminary colleagues, and my home church community – Kirkwood UCC – I answered “Yes!” to God’s call upon my life.
Rev. Susannah Davis preached the ordination sermon and reminded everyone gathered that the particulars of that call is clear: to follow Jesus in bringing Good News to the poor, to proclaim release of the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and to let the oppressed go free. (Luke 4:14-21). “Anything else you build,” she said, “may be something. But if it’s not fulfilling that call, then it’s not the right thing.”
Those words moved me deeply. My purpose as a minister is to help all Christians to follow Christ – proclaiming Good News, releasing bodies and spirits from captivity, giving sight to those who dwell in the darkness or turmoil and depression, and breaking bonds of oppression as they exist both personally and systemically. This may sound like a strange or overly dark task for someone who is currently your Children’s and Family pastor, but I believe deeply that our children are just as capable of following Christ as adults – and many times just as in need of Jesus’s radical Love and Healing.
I look forward to finding ways of working with you to nurture our children’s spirits, to learn from them, and liberate them, to preach Good News to them just as readily as we do adults. My call as an ordained minister may have just begun, but our collective call to follow Christ knows no bounds.