Sunday’s Scripture ~ Psalm 39:1-7
This week pastors and lay people from all over the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church will gather in Lakeland for our Annual Conference event. It is a time to celebrate the ministry that God has led the Florida Annual Conference (comprised of over 700 churches) to and through this past year. It is also a time to look ahead to where God is leading us in the future.
I most look forward to Annual Conference because of the friends in ministry that I am able to reconnect with during the event. We worship together. We grow together. We eat together – and eating together is a priority – we are United Methodist, after all.
This Annual Conference will also be very special because I will be ordained and brought into full connection membership to the Annual Conference. On June 13th, 2014 – a Friday and a full moon! – I will close my six year candidacy journey. Over the past six years I have moved from inquiring candidate to certified candidate; from certified candidate to commissioned provisional elder; and now from commissioned provisional elder to ordained elder in full connection. During these six years I have laughed and cried; I have doubted and felt affirmed; I have watched God transform relationships – bringing some to a close and rooting others all the more deeper. I am so blessed to have had Andrew by my side throughout this journey. I was called to this life and I chose this life – a life of ordained service in the church, a life of itinerating when the appointive authorities say it is time to move, a life of middle of the night phone calls for pastoral emergencies and meetings after meetings after meetings. Sometimes I apologize to Andrew for this life that I have brought him into because he did not choose it…but then he looks at me and says, “But I did choose it…I chose it when I chose you.”
I know what you are thinking…he’s a keeper. And I intend to do just that.
My Annual Conference experience will be a full one. I am
- Hosting a lunch
- Assisting with the coordination of all seven worship services
- Participating in two worship services
- Co-hosting the inaugural Annual Conference 5K
- Singing in a memorial choir
- Being ordained
- And hugging a whole host of people that I love very very much.
I am thankful for the season in my life. It’s a crazy one, but it is so full of God’s abundance and love.
And next week…I will sleep. Very very well.
Prayer: “Be still, my soul: your God will undertake to guide the future, as in ages past. Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.”* Amen.
*”Be Still, My Soul,” The United Methodist Hymnal, 534.