Today I will be part of a team of United Methodist clergy interviewing candidates from the Charlotte area who are in the very early stages of the ordination process.
And, in case you don’t know, the ordination process in the UMC is lengthy. And maze-like. And a labyrinth. And whatever other metaphor you want to use for long and involved. There are papers, sermons, psychological assessments, and interviews.
So today makes me think of the meetings I had at a similar stage in my ministry journey — starting about 27 years ago now.
I remember being nervous as a cat, eager to please, wearing suit and tie, and hoping my educational background at Asbury Seminary wouldn’t hurt me in this land dominated by Duke Divinity School.
And then, when it was all over and the ordination was approved and the ceremony actually happened, I only occasionally thought of the experience at all.
Until today, when it comes rushing back with a mixture of appreciation and, I pray, sensitivity towards those candidates just beginning their journey.