Tuesday, January 31, 2006

BOM Retreat

I just spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday with the Board of Ordained Ministry at Collins Retreat Center. They were deciding whether or not to advance me and 10 other candidates. Some of us are up for full ordination, while others, like myself, are up for commissioning and probationary membership. We'll be hearing back from the BOM (which apparently many pronounce "boom", but which I still prefer to call "bomb") in the next two weeks. Teams of two will come from the BOM to each candidate to inform us in person of the result. Except for the two of us who are still away at seminary; we'll be receiving phone calls. Mine is at 3:30 Pacific Time this Thursday, Feb 2.

I think my interviews went pretty well. Nothing that we discussed caused me to think there were any grounds not to recommend me. The interviews were actually pretty fun and like an interesting discussion of the issues we were covering. I'll find out for sure on Thursday.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Day

It was a day at church this morning. Our Pastor of Worship (also choir director) was on vacation. No problem -- the organist shifted over to direct the choir. We've got a great backup organist. But... she called in sick. Trouble.

Our senior pastor started off the early service, and noticed part way through that the battery on the handheld mic was almost dead. She had to run out for a replacement, so I covered the rest of her part. And I covered for the song leader -- the Pastor of Worship usually does that. We got through that service.

Then is Sunday school. We're doing a unit on The Matrix from Reel Faith. Unfortunately, my co-teacher lost the curriculum book this week. I had already set up the clips, so we figured to watch them before class and come up with some questions on our own. He was the designated leader this morning. However, despite my best efforts, I somehow failed to leave the house with the DVD. My partner punted a lesson while I went to practice organ -- I'd been recruited to accompany the choir at the second service.

Now, my organ chops are pretty weak, and I haven't played in quite some time. So putting together an anthem in a little less than an hour was a bit of a challenge. I even ended up doing some of the choir rehearsal. It turned out pretty well, though. And it was actually quite fun to play.

Then, after church, I led a meeting with representatives from all 10 adult Sunday school classes. Our classes are growing, and their started to feel cramped. I called the meeting to try to come up with a room assignment solution that would work for everyone. It had the potential to be very contentious. However, it went better than I could have expected, thanks to some good planning, a lot of prayer, and some compassionate hearts.

Like I said, it was a day.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

BOM Retreat

I'm meeting with the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in almost exactly 14 days, 2 weeks. After two days of meeting with me and my fellow candidates, they will determine whether or not to recommend us for ordination or commisioning to the Clergy Session of Annual Conference. This is the next-to-last step in being approved to be commissioned. I've been in the process for five years now. And in two weeks I will face the greatest hurdle of the process so far.

It's an interesting place to be in. Earlier in the process I took each step with what could almost be trepidation. I knew that each step was very serious and that I could not expect to simply be past. Now, although I still take this process very seriously and I know that being passed is not a foregone conclusion, I still don't feel I have much to fear. In the last 5 years, I haven't really been faced with many serious questions of fitness. Those that I have faced, I have worked on and developed answers to. I enter this phase now, just ready to be questioned, but not anxious about the process or the result. I don't feel that the board is out to get me. I feel like they will be just. I'm almost looking forward to it.