I am in the process of discernment concerning ordination in the Anglican Church in North America. As part of that process we were invited to attend the diocese annual synod and the clergy conference before the synod.
In an afternoon and evening, I felt like fresh water had been poured over the dry ground of my heart. I hadn’t realized how dry things were when it came to thinking about ordination and ministry. In two afternoon sessions a seasoned pastor who had served a church for 40 years as rector poured love into the clergy present. He opened up the Scriptures and walked through key passages to discuss pastoring and gave us immense wisdom.
He didn’t talk about “leadership.” He didn’t talk about “leadership development” or “cutting edge” anything. He talked about pastoring. He talked about the Church.
The bishop then closed the time with strong admonitions. He lovingly gave clear warning areas regarding the inner life of the minister.
The evening service was filled with worship, Spirit-led prayer, prayer for one another, and renewal of ordination vows.
I could have wept the entire evening.
The sense of calling and purpose… and the call to pastor… was so beautiful.
Regardless of where this process leads, I am deeply grateful to find an amazing expression of pastoral care and love for the Body of Christ.