Many of you know that while I had planned on being ordained in December of ’08 – things didn’t really pan out how I thought they would. It’s been over a year now since it all began – and while I haven’t wanted to rush into a decision concerning next steps, it became more and more clear that I really needed to make a decision. As I saw it, there were many options available to me – including an online ordination petition which over 140 people signed. I received a lot of counsel and advice from family and friends, colleagues, pastors and others. To be honest, there were many times in which I questioned whether even continuing to pursue ordination in the PC(USA) was what God was calling me to.
For the past six months, I’ve been wrestling with this decision. And today, I made a decision to continue with the Presbyterian Church (USA) ordination process.
I know there will be some who cannot understand this decision. Some who I consider close friends. And to be honest, I’m not 100% sure if “I” understand the decision.
As I’ve been attempting to discern where God is calling me, I’ve also been investigating other options. And each time that I would consider other options, there was something that kept pulling me back to being Presbyterian. The most frustrating part of that is that I could not name it. I still can’t name it. Sure there is the whole connectional piece, the vast network of friendships I’ve developed over the past 10+ years of “being Presbyterian” – but I just wasn’t quite sure WHAT it was that kept pulling me back.
And so even amidst that unknowing, I have decided to stick with it. To finish out the process. If all goes according to plan, I will be transferred into the Presbytery of San Francisco as a Candidate, complete three additional educational requirements and some other requirements and hopefully be ordained in the next couple years.
I’m not entirely sure what is drawing me toward the PC(USA). And for now – I’m okay with that. I’m okay with trusting that God is doing something, that God is at work somehow in all of this and that this is the right decision for me.
Will I be frustrated again with the process? With the denomination? With the bureaucracy? You bet! Will I do everything possible in my power to work for change in certain areas if and when I am finally ordained in the PC(USA)? I certainly hope so.
I have had a few meetings with the Presbytery of San Francisco’s CPM and have been impressed with the folks on the committee and they have been very willing to work with me on many areas. And some things are starting to fall into place: I just found out today that I’m eligible for a program at SFTS that will let me take a course for credit for only around $600, which is amazing. Hopefully the financial burden will be considerably less than what I had initially thought would be the case. Though I can say that I’m really not looking forward to more academic work…but, starting Monday I’ll be starting an SFTS Old Testament Prophets course.
For all of you who have been on this journey with me since it began – I have appreciated all your support and care for me this past year. The journey is far from over – but I’m feeling good about this next step.