You may know that I took a temporary incomplete in one of my classes in the last week of December. I had one more 10 page paper to write, it was December 21st, and I just really needed a break. So I wrote my professor and asked him to give me an incomplete until the beginning of January. Well, I have no completed and turned in that paper, so my semester is officially complete!
I have to admit, I am really proud of myself. I may not have been a perfect student, and I know there are papers and exams that I took that were less than perfect, but I learned a lot. I feel good about what I learned and how I can apply it to my ministry.
Now that Fall Semester is out of the way, it's time to really kick it into gear and get this Ordination show on the road. I thought I would let you all know what's left, and what the timeline looks like.
1. I need to complete the first draft of my ordination paper and my ordination exam (a 4 hour, proctored exam using only a Bible and a word processor) by February 9th.
2. On February 16th, I will have a Skype interview with my Working Group in Ohio, who will suggest revisions to my paper, which I will address and then return to the committee before my final interview. The exam cannot be revised.
3. On March 15th, I will meet in Ohio, at Lakewood UCC, with the entire Department of Church and Ministry for my Ordination Interview. Friends and family are encouraged to attend (let me know if you're interested). The interview begins with a half hour worship service, planned and executed by myself. Then we move to a one hour Q and A about my final Ordination Paper and the exam.
4. I will find out immediately after the interview if I have "passed." I will then (God-willing) be "approved for ordination pending graduation from Eden Theological Seminary and a recognized call."
5. After that, I will send out my "profile," which is essentially a resume, to churches seeking pastors in the Western Reserve Association of Ohio and possibly a few other churches that are not far from Northeast Ohio. I have to write the profile before I send it out, but I'm hoping to get that started in late February/early March.
6. Then I just wait. I could find a job before I graduate or it could be a year or more. Hopefully the former. Once I agree to a position at a church, that is when I will be ordained.
That's the gist of it. I am really kicking it in gear this month, making sure I get the revisions to my thesis proposal turned in by January 17th, in addition to my J-term class, my internship, and the ordination stuff. My poor, dear husband is reaping the consequences of my work load this month. Our interactions are pretty limited to, "Do this theological concept and this theological concept contradict one another?" and "Can you make dinner tonight?" I'll make it up to him someday.
Little E, however, isn't as patient as Maic. She won't let me "kick it in gear" as long as she has a say in it. So during the day I spend all my time with her, wiggling a stuffed orangutan over her head and making up songs about giraffes and unicorns. Then when Maic comes home from work, I retreat to the bedroom to get some reading, highlighting, and writing done.
When I really get my priorities in order, I realize how grateful I am that Evelyn keeps me on the real "track." If it comes down to it, Ordination can wait. Loving my family can't.