For the last five years I have been in an ordination process under the supervision of a denominational committee. That committee is called the Ministry Team for Authorized Ministers; it’s a committee of the Prairie Association of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ. In a meeting on March 29th, 2012, the committee concluded that I have now met all their requirements, and they voted unanimously to recommend me for ordination.
There still remain three final steps to my ordination process. First, there will be an Ecclesiastical Council, a meeting of the whole membership of the Prairie Association, where they will vote on whether to authorize me for ordination; this meeting is scheduled for June 10th. Those attending this meeting will be able to question me on my ordination paper (or anything else they choose!). Here’s a copy of that paper, “The Song Of God“. Perhaps it isn’t the most elegant thing I’ve ever written—I wrote it with committee members’ questions in mind—but I’m a bit proud of it anyway.
After the ecclesiastical council, I’ll need a job offer for an ordained ministry—typically, a chaplaincy or a pastorate. (The United Church of Christ tries to minimize central governance and maximize the authority of local congregations; in that spirit they view the calling body as a partner in the discernment of a candidate’s call to ordination.) Then, finally, there would be a formal ceremony of ordination.
And then, presumably, a rest cure in an asylum of some sort…