Editor's Note: Along the Way highlights the stories of young women on their way toward ordination. Submissions are welcomed and should be sent to alongtheway(dot)ycw(at)gmail(dot)com.
As the tears rolled down my face, Abby whispered, “The last piece, dear Katelyn, is learning to love yourself as God loves you.” My tears were a mix of relief, thanks and fear at saying “yes” to my first ministerial position. The tears came easily as I sat in the office, meeting with Abby and Doug, my home church pastors, to review my ministry contract for my new position.
For the past year I’ve been immersed in the Search and Call process, seeking a call to be an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. I’ve heard the process compared to dating, or a roller coaster ride. In my experience the dating analogy is more accurate. A roller coaster ride, while full of ups and downs, is usually over in two minutes. In contrast, the Search Process typically takes between twelve and eighteen months. I remember hearing this in UCC Polity class. But hearing it is different than experiencing it.
by Lesley-Ann Hix
Editor's Note: This is the debut article of a new column that will highlight the stories of young women on their way toward ordination. Submissions are welcomed and should be sent to alongtheway(dot)ycw(at)gmail(dot)com.
There must be a pact that everyone signs upon graduating from seminary. It must say something like, “I promise to never let the secrets of these past three years (or so) become public knowledge.” Something like this pact must exist because I just finished my first semester in seminary, and no one really alerted me to the challenge of what lay ahead. My mom has her M. Div. and spent 20 years in vocational ministry, and the things she did while she was in seminary astound me. For one, she was married. How in the world do you do this job and keep the relationship of a marriage healthy? I have just this year really learned about all the things she juggled while in seminary, probably because it is just now that I am curious.
After only four months at McAfee School of Theology, though, what I have experienced in school is all I can talk about these days. Everything about seminary amazes me, so how can you not talk about it constantly? Maybe it is the very first day of Old Testament class when you learn that there are actually two creation accounts at the beginning of Genesis. Or maybe it is learning that the title “Christian” used to also mean martyrdom and you realize that the faith you hold has not ever really demanded deep-down devotion. Or maybe it is the fourth week into class, right when Hebrew gets complicated - maybe that’s what shuts everyone up.