Having had the discussion already and realized that pastoring is not likely to work out for me, I’ve been wondering – am I still ordained?
With all the Presbyterian polity discussions surrounding me today on the interwebs, I ended up remembering that, YES, I’m still a member-at-large in the Chicago Presbytery, which means I’m still ordained as a minister.
See, several years ago, when I was ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), I had a vision during the Lord’s Prayer at my ordination. I felt the hands on my shoulders from the Elders and Deacons and Ministers who laid hands on me.
But I saw prophets, martyrs, pastors, teachers from biblical days to now. They welcomed me into the great cloud of witnesses. I felt a heavy mantle of responsibility slipped on my shoulders. I was changed by the experience. I was set apart to do God’s work in the world.
And now I’m not doing any of this work, and when I even think about what’s going on in the Church and the world, my head hurts and I have to turn away. I could argue with myself perhaps, that maybe God’s work is getting myself better and taking care of me, so that I can do more work when I am better and stable and ready to take the responsibility of ministry again, something I know will happen again.
So, I’m pondering today, am I still ordained when I can’t do anything right now? Does it go away when I am disabled for a time, or does ordination remain and still shape me?