Today I celebrate the seventh anniversary of ordination. I can recall the day seven years ago very clearly - July 8, 2001 for those struggling with the math :-). It was an evening Service. It was an incredibly hot day - 35 degrees. I had been stung by a wasp on my ankle earlier in the day and my ankle throbbed and swelled as I sat in the incredible heat of the church in the aptly nicknamed "hotseat" just before the chancel. The pews were completely full. Several people made the drive from my vicarage congregation in Yorkton to be there. People from Saskatoon had come. Pastor Mark Maunula (now in the USA) preached the sermon and Pastor Linden Dressler was the liturgist and Pastor Irwin Pudrycki ordained me.
I was nervous. I was excited. I felt inadequate. But strangely I was not terrified. I was.... in awe. What was about to happen has happened over the centuries to countless men. But now I would be put into the Office that was instituted by God Himself. The vows I would speak before God and these people would form who I was to be. But I had a sense of peace. Not in myself. No, not at all. But I truly believed that God would give me what I needed to fulfill the Office. I had been formed at the seminary to at least be able to adequately fulfill the basics of the Office. I believed that over the years God would continue to form me.
In seven years I have learned much - more than I learned at the seminary. That is in no way meant to speak ill of the seminary. I believe that I learned what I could at the seminary and they did what they could with me. I was prepared as best as a rookie pastor could be prepared to begin serving a parish. They can't teach you everything at the seminary. They can teach you how to study and "do" theology. What I mean is that in the seven years since graduation from seminary I have continued to learn as I served the parish. I have learned much from books. I have learned much from other pastors. I have learned much as I teach bible study. I have learned much from the people I teach. I have learned much in becoming a father to my children. I continue to learn forgiveness and grace from my wife.
It is great to be a Pastor in Christ's Church. I cannot dream of doing anything else. It is my honour. It is my privilege. It is my joy. I am still in awe.