It’s time to celebrate! August-ordained RevGals, it’s your moment to shine. This month’s party is being kicked off by the ever delightful Heidi Rodrick-Schnath, who is an ELCA (Lutheran) minister in Pennsylvania, USA.
My denomination began ordaining women when I was 11. By the time I was twelve, I was thinking about being a pastor. I fought the idea for a while in college but ultimately realized that I was called to serve as an ordained pastor in the Lutheran church. It was a surprise to no one.
I was ordained on August 27, 1988 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lincolnwood, Illinois. It turned out to be a fairly rainy day but that did not diminish the worship service or the celebration with friends and family that evening. I remember that it was the first ordination for the new bishop and there were four of us who got ordained. The synod had a team making a video that had some really bright lights. Every time the camera looked our way, you would be momentarily blinded. As a result I don’t remember any of the sermon, at all. I do remember sitting in a pew about an hour before the service began and wondering aloud to my aunt/godmother, if I was doing the right thing. She had recently been married and said she thought the same thing before that service. She decided to go ahead knowing if she had to, she could get out of it later. She suggested that I could use the same logic which in some strange way, made me feel calmer. Thirty-one years later she’s still married and I’m still a pastor.
What are you really enjoying about ministry these days?
I am really enjoying other people’s kids this summer. VBS was a blast. I spent a week in Appalachia doing service work with our high school group and I have had an especially good time seeing how the congregation has been responding to our kids collecting a “noisy offering” every Sunday. People have had so much fun dropping coins into the cans as the kids move around the room. They have received $700 to date which the kids have used to buy 50 pounds of peanut butter and jelly for the local food pantry and a variety of gift cards that can be given to people in need. (McDonald’s being on the top of their suggested vendors.)
What are you reading/watching/engaging/attending to feed your spirit?
I’ve binge watched a few programs this summer that have given me food for thought: The Handmaid’s Tale, Years and Years and Stranger Things being on the list. All of these programs have a dystopian bent and while they can be more than a bit on the dark side, they have given me a lot to consider. What is the impact that I want to have on the world around me? What does it mean to be Martha when there is no Mary? How are the church’s actions contributing to the brokenness of our world?
What advice would you give those being ordained this month?
Wear something cool. August is a sticky month if you are being ordained in the States. Enjoy the day and remember, some of the best memories are created when things don’t run perfectly.
Thanks, Heidi! What a great start to the party. Now, reader, it’s your turn! Were you ordained in August? Tell us about it, and let us celebrate with you!
Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland. She lives along the beautiful Firth of Clyde, where it’s much warmer than normal just now and she’s wishing for lighter-weight vestments! She is co-author of Who’s Got Time: spirituality for a busy generation, a board member of RevGalBlogPals, and a contributor to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit.
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