The last few weeks have been eventful, to say the least. This means that I have much to blog about....but it also means that I've had no time to blog about any of it! So let's do this methodically, starting from the beginning.
When last we left off, I had just spent a wonderful day at the zoo with Matt's family, and was gearing up for a night-before-ordination dinner that would include my family, including my sister and her fiance from Minneapolis, and all of Matt's family as well.
We went to one of my very favorite restaurants, McCormick and Schmick's, and proceeded to order (and eat!) an enormous amount of food. We divided ourselves up nicely into a "grown-ups" end of the table and a "kids" end of the table, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We took a long time eating and conversing over dinner, which is something that makes me truly happy. Happy because I love seeing my parents and Matt's parents enjoy themselves together. Happy because nothing compares to the simple joys of food, family, and laughter. Speaking of joy and laughter....
Sunday morning was normal, but full of nerves. I moved through our three worship services in a serious daze (it's a good thing I wasn't preaching!). After worship, Matt and I joined his family for quick brunch, and then I was off, ready to face the whirlwind that was the remainder of the afternoon.
I walked into church that afternoon, greeted by the sounds of the brass rehearsing. At that moment, listening to friends and family playing such beautiful music, the reality of everything hit me. Here I was, running around trying to help coordinate all of the pieces of the worship service, about to process into worship as a layperson, and recess as a pastor!
The lead-up to the service was crazy. Waiting on people to show up, corralling visiting clergy to the robing area, greeting family and friends, listening to my wonderful family and friends rehearse music, keeping track of my belongings...
And then, before I knew it, I was standing at the back of the church, ready to process in amidst a whole flock of clergy vested in red! The service itself was beautiful beyond my wildest imagination. I had tried to put together a service that was very churchy (in a good way!) while still being personal. I was surprised at the result! The music was amazing (I have wonderfully talented family and friends - I am blessed), the support of such a large number of clergy was overwhelming, and the enthusiasm with which the congregation worshiped together made me excited and hopeful to be entering into church leadership.
Bishop Miller preached a sermon that was at once hilarious (forcing me to read an eye chart in front of everyone!) and touching. The message that he preached - about ministry as the work of always pointing away from ourselves to God - was excellent, and (whether he knew it or not), it was a message very reflective of my own thoughts and concerns about ministry. It was exceedingly meaningful for me.
The rest of the service flew by - the ordination itself was a complete blur. Partly because of the adrenaline and excitement, partly because I was so hot and flushed that I was concentrating hard on not fainting! And by the way, if you're being ordained anytime in the near future, take note that during the laying on of hands, those involved inevitably tend to push down on you during the prayer. My back was struggling to hold myself up under the weight of all of those hands pressing down! :)
At some point I'll try to post video of the service, as well as a copy of the bulletin. But for now, just a few pictures of the day: