Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'
Saturday, June 24, 2006
A few months ago Pastor Bains approached me about exchanging my ordination to the Church of God in Christ. Previously I've been ordained through a small Pentecostal denomiation and also through the Highway Community, the church that we attended in Palo Alto. I was satisfied with the credentials I had since it allowed me to do essentially what I needed. However, I was honored when Pastor approached me. After praying and chatting with Melissa and some of my mentors - I decided to pursue ordination with COGIC. Since I've been ordained for the past 12 years in a group with similar doctrine the Bishop decided to allow me an exchange without further classes.
Last Tuesday night I attended the ordination service. By chance, my sister Kelli and friend Robin were in town and were able to attend the service. What a special blessing to have them there. This was a very special night since the first time I was ordained it was somewhat unceremonious. We were living in Mexico at the time.
The night began with the group of candidates and wives sitting in a room with the prevailing elders of the jurisdiction (local are group of churches) giving us words of wisdom. What an honor to be addressed by these more experienced leaders. Once Bishop W.W. Hamilton with his wife and they gave us last minute words and a prayer we went down to the service already in progress. At the end of the service they led us on stage. Had more words. Then they had us kneel and pray over us, We then were called us up one by on and gave us the official COGIC manual, a cross (to wear during service signifying we are 'ordained) and a certificate of ordination. Then we were led off the stage and all the currently ordained 'elders' laid hand on us and prayed for us. (the term 'elder' refers to someone who is ordained. Ministers are unordained but are 'licensed' - a step down. To be a pastor you must be and elder.)
I feel deeply honored to be in a primarily African American denomination. I feel that God has called us to serve our local church and Pastor Bains specifically and by association, the denomination. I've never been able to say that before as I didn't feel called to any denomination specifically. I'm not sure what God is doing - but a big part of our calling is to racial reconciliation. I can't help but feel that this is part of that. There has been so many transitions and changes over the past few months for Melissa and I - my head is kind of spinning... But I have a sense that God is leading and guiding. So please pray for me, for St. Samuel Church and the COGIC denomination.