In the midst of life and its many constant changes and transitions, it is imperative that you take time to express that gratitude and thankfulness that resides deep within your heart, mind, and soul. Today’s reflection really comes out of this perspective.
Allison and I have had the great joy and pleasure to walk alongside a number of friends as they have discerned calls towards ministry, and in some of their cases, even calls towards pastoral ministry. Of these latter people, many of our friends have recently graduated from seminary and are now starting to be ordained. This past weekend we were able to witness two such ordinations for our friends Amanda and Jeremy.
Jeremy was ordained first in his home congregation in Brenham, Texas. Amanda was ordained the next day by her home congregation in Austin, Texas. Bishop Kevin Kanouse, the Bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America presided and ordained them both. The services were beautiful, with scripture passages, messages, and music that so clearly reflect the uniqueness and beauty of both of them as beloved and created Children of God. Spending time with them and their families, and meeting many of their friends and communities with whom they have grown up and lived was special. It really was a great joy to be able to be there with them.
I am looking forward to being able to celebrate the ordinations of many more friends and colleagues in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. But until then, let me express some joy and gratitude.
For Amanda and Jeremy’s graduations, and to all those who are or have recently graduated, I say congratulations!
For Amanda and Jeremy’s ordinations, and for all those who are about to be or have recently been ordained, I say hallelujah!
For Amanda and Jeremy’s friendship with Allison and I, I say thanks be to God!
Amanda and Jeremy are special people. They are certainly special to us, and I could say much here, but need not to do that. Just know this, they are amazing people with huge hearts, innovative and discerning spirits, and with great and passion and love for all they meet and for helping people understand that they are loved and beautiful children of God. If you live in the Lubbock area of Texas, you are gaining two amazing pastors and ministry leaders with a profoundly deep sense of the gospel’s promise and all of the promises of God. You are gaining two wonderful leaders, who are innovative, open, and excited to do ministry. Finally, you are going to be able to call two of my best friends your pastors. Love them and cherish them for they are special and they certainly will love you.
Amanda and Jeremy, blessings and love as you begin this next chapter of your lives in ministry and formally as pastors! I can’t wait to see and witness where these chapters take you and to be a part of them wherever possible.