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ordinational emotions.

12 Jul
[ordinational?  a word?  likely not until now.]
In attending ordinations of friends and beginning to plan my own, I often find myself emotional.  Two Sundays ago, the gospel text was from Matthew 11, the text that is read as a red stole is placed on the ordinand’s shoulders.  [“Come to me, all who you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30]  I found myself getting excited, anxious, and ready for this next step and this milestone in my journey into ministry.  
Since then, I can only guess that my actual ordination will be one of teary eyes.  I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what makes me so emotional about the planning of/the day but I can gather a few things.  They say that at one’s wedding, it is such a happy day because it’s the gathering of all the loved people in your life.  I’ve had no such wedding, but I only anticipate an ordination to be similar in that when I look at the congregation, my gaze will be met by so many important and loved people in my life who have supported me.  I look forward to and begin to get sentimental at the thought of family, friends, and congregation members gathering to celebrate God’s call in me to ministry.  The thought of it makes me grow emotional, and so incredibly blessed and thankful.
Forgive my constant admiration and idolization of internship, but I grow so excited to think of their celebration with me.  A year ago when I left, they [my coworkers] had said that they would want to come and be a part of my ordination but I understood that it was eight hours between us.  As I make plans and hear from others, it seems that many of my Dawson coworkers intend on making the drive.  They – and the congregation as a whole – have been such a formational part of my call to and competency in ministry that to even think that they will travel here makes me cry.  So excited.  [Sidenote: I wrote an email to Karen at Grace about ordination details to share with the congregation.  I mentioned the bus sighting of the Dawson mission trip folks I had on my way drive on Sunday and her response?  “I don’t think it was any accident that you saw the bus – you will always have a connection to Grace.”  Tears.  Tears because I want that to always be the truth.  I miss Grace.  I love Grace.]
In the planning of this ordination service, I also see congregation members of my home congregation so incredibly supportive and congratulatory.  I could not tell you the last time that East Koshkonong was host to an ordination; this is new territory.  They have gathered behind me in so many ways as I grew up in those pews – as a high school flute player with the senior choir, as a student in college, as a girl who lost her father, and as a pastoral candidate in seminary.  I grow so excited to share my ordination with them.  [Though I will say that this also comes with embarrassment – I have been absent it seems for so long that my name-to-face recognition is low.  Very low.  Must study the church directory.]
Cassie, who has been ordained for over a month, says that she got out all the tears and emotional breakdowns in the week prior to the service so she remained dry-eyed for the actual day.  [I just outed you, Cassie.  Hope that’s okay.]  I might make this my proposed approach so that when when friends and family read charges, when Cassie leads the prayers, and when Kendall preaches I don’t fall apart at that moment.  It will be an emotional day and an exciting day of praising God and celebrating the work Christ does in the world, in and through each person.
Can’t wait.

a church day.

11 Jul
I’m highly caffeinated.  
It’s nearly 1am.  I spent right around nine hours in a car today.  And I’m wired.
Two iced coffees, two sodas, and a cup of warm coffee in a church fellowship hall.  
The day began with worship at my home congregation.  Talk of upcoming ordination and congratulations were many from dear congregation members.  There was a bit of distraction and also a bit of focus on the congregational vote that was happening in Austin.  THE vote to call me as pastor.
I arrived home and found my phone ringing.  A 507 number.  This was it.  I answered and heard this on the other end –
“Thank you?”  [I wasn’t entirely sure who was on the other end …]
The conversation continued and it was, indeed, the chair of the call committee of Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church in rural Austin.  They voted to call me as their pastor.  [yay!]
phew.  I had known in hypotheticals that this would eventually be the case.  I’ve never heard of a vote not passing but it was still reassuring to know that it’s the real deal, that I could make it facebook official, and that I can now mail out my ordination announcements.
After the phone call, I jumped in the car and headed north on Interstate 90 towards LaCrosse, passing a bus of Dawson friends traveling south at one point just north of Madison.  I knew that Dawson youth were on their way to Chicago for a mission trip and I knew that they had stayed the night in the Dells the night prior.  I kept my eyes peeled, wondering if our paths would cross.  And they did!  I called Emily to say hi and to tell her I saw her bus with organist Chris driving in his bus-driver-man clothes.  It was a fun coincidence.
I drove to Sparta, jumped in the car with friend, Cassie, and we headed west to Albert Lea to our pal, Josh’s, ordination.  I was able to catch up with my roommate, who also attended, and congratulate Josh.  Josh is called to a church in southwestern Minnesota – the synod I was in last year while intern in Dawson.  I caught up with the bishop from that synod, who was interested to know if I had a call yet.  If not, he said he was ready to snatch me up.  [Apparently both southern Minnesotan bishops fought for me in the draft.  ego boost]  Cassie and I returned to Sparta, and then I jumped back into my car and drove home, arriving on Aarback just after midnight.
It was a good church day.  I have an official job.  Josh was ordained.  Car time road trip with a seminary friend.  Waving distantly to old friends.  Tomorrow [technically today] will be a good day too.  Ordination announcements can officially go out and plans can begin to be made officially.  And then I’ll start crying because, for some reason, my ordination makes me super emotional.  More about that to come.
25 Jun
First, a notification:  Pending an affirmative vote on July 10th at the church which has offered me a call, I will be ordained on July 24 at my home congregation in Cambridge, WI.  Time: tbd.  [Likely late afternoon.]  It’s been a tricky thing to navigate, being that I don’t technically have a call but knowing that I’ve never heard of a vote not going through, while trying to find a date that works with the bishop’s busy schedule.  July 24 is the place at which we arrived.  Write it down because you should come!  [If you want to …]
Second, a plea: In conversation with said church, I learned that the current interim has plans to leave at the very end of August.  That leaves me two more months at home.  That is one more than I planned on … Now accepting suggestions of how to spend my time.  After this weekend, there is officially very, very little on my calendar and those days and weeks will need to be filled.  Any suggestions that also offer ways to earn a bit of money are favorable.  Help?
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