There are some things in life that are so built up, worked toward, and anticipated that they then have nowhere to go but the Disappointment File when they actually happen. This was not one of them. My ordination last Sunday was amazing. Here are some of the things that I loved about it:
- I loved that there were 37 clergy there to support and lay on hands.
- I love that among those clergy were Ecumenical Catholics, United Methodists, United Church of Christers, and Presbyterians. Then a whole slew of Lutherans
- I love that there were about 10 people there who have known me in AA for almost 17 years. At a meeting a few days ago one said "When Nadia came in these rooms she was as likely to crack a joke as pull a knife on you. Now she's a pastor"
- I loved the hymns. "A Mighty Fortress" (I'm a company girl). "Come Thous Fount of Every Blessing". "Great is Thy Faithfulness". ("Our God is an Awesome God" pales next to these magnificent hymns of the church, no? Besides, perhaps we need an adjective for the Almighty that isn't more often used to describe one's pizza, but I digress.
- I loved that my parents read the lessons, and that my Dad choked up.
- I loved that all I did was kneel and say the same thing several times in response to the bishop questioning me: "I will, and I ask God to help me".
- I loved serving communion to the 10 Church of Christ folks who came with my parents.
- I loved how very anglo-catholic the service was (including a thurifer)
- I loved that my daughter was the Crucifer and my son the Gospel Bearer.
- I loved that my husband presented me and my family placed the stole on me.
- I loved that the stole was from Sara Miles and Paul Fromberg
- I loved the sermon Kevin Maly gave. It blew my mind.
- I loved that so many of Matthew's current and ex-parishioners were there.
- I loved that Fred Denny, my professor of Islam from CU Boulder was there as well as my friend Jeff. Jeff was a screwed up kid with me. We once lived in a 2 bedroom apt with 8 people, We then moved into a house with 10 folks and 2 hydroponic grow rooms. Dope, coke, political rantings and sexual misconduct were the daily fare. Jeff and I have been clean for almost 17 years now but I think everyone else is dead or in jail or somehow still living the life. Jeff started going to a nice UCC church a few years back. Giving him communion knowing our story made me so deeply grateful and again baffled by God's grace.
- I loved that House for All Sinners and Saints then received me (officially) as their Pastor and that so many of us participated in the ordination.
- I loved that Seth played her cello and Sara and Andie served as cantors.I loved how overwhelming it felt to have hands laid on me and to be included in the long line of clergy who have had this done in unending succession.
- I loved that all the sliced cheese that my parents had bought for the reception were stolen during the ordination (and 1 vegetable tray). Damn poor. When I told Sara she said "Damn. That's the most Gospel-y parable I've ever heard. You have to preach that" (I did, 2 days ago)
- I loved that 20 House for All folks came back to our place afterwords for beer and nachos.
Someone asked me at the after party "So, do you feel different?" I answered "I do. I don't know that you can be the object of that much prayer and blessing and not be changed by it."
Thank you to everyone in my life, near and far, whose prayers brought me here. And I thank God for my vocation. May God make me worthy of my calling.