On October 16, 1993, I stood before my home church congregation, First Presbyterian Church of San Pedro, and took my vows of ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. It was one of the holiest moments of my life and I will never forget all the people who came for the service on a weeknight. I was such an unlikely candidate for ministry. I did not grow up in church. I was (and am) an extreme introvert, terrified of speaking before a group of people. Ministry was such an unlikely calling that I knew it came from God as it was not a vocation I would have chosen for myself. I have done my best to be faithful to that calling. I love(d) being a pastor of several incredible churches. I am blessed by sharing ministry with my husband, Greg, who continues to serve a congregation. I now work full-time as a writer, and that is my extended calling, but I will always have the heart of a pastor. My congregation is now my readers, but also the people I've served and loved throughout my 39 years of ordination. I often think of Elizabeth's proclamation to Mary: "You are, among women, most richly blessed" (Luke 1:42). I feel, among women, most richly blessed.
On the back of this photo I wrote: Present and future clergy! Randy Branson, in the robe and stole, is the pastor who suggested I go to Princeton Theological seminary to study Christian Education. Randy's belief in me changed my life. Carl Jacobson, new pastor to youth, in the tie. He was also very supportive of me during my seminary years, as were so many in my home church. I was the first person in their 150+ year history to attend seminary and become ordained. I still keep in touch Randy, and also with one of my high-school youth advisors, now nearly 93 years old.
One of my first sermons as a seminary student, preached at First Presbyterian Church, San Pedro, CA.
In my next Kathy's Musings, coming in mid-November, I'll share good news about two upcoming new books, plus an update on Sophie Grace who will then be 9 months old.