Sunday, February 3, 2008

Another Praise Report

Debbie went before the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry in Leesburg on January 22nd for an interview to be approved for ordination as an elder in full connection.

It used to be that pastors were ordained for ministry as elders in full connection as soon as they graduated from seminary. But this meant that they were being given life-time appointment in the United Methodist Church based on their potential for ministry and not on their effectiveness in ministry. So they came up with a new system with several different levels to it. Debbie was approved for the first level and licensed as a local pastor in 2001 when she was appointed at Tice Church in Fort Myers. Then she was approved for commissioning as a probationary elder in 2003. You have to be a probationary elder for no less than three years before applying now to be an elder in full connection. She applied last year and passed three of the four areas: leadership, preaching and personal growth. But she had trouble articulating her theology in the interview (40 plus people in a room) and so they wanted her to do some more work in that area. So she worked hard reading books and meeting with other pastors and resubmitted her paperwork (50 typewritten pages). And she passed the interview this time with flying colors! So at Annual Conference this year she will finally be ordained! No more paperwork or interviews for her. It's a wonderful blessing.

Daddy, Wesley and Parker accompanied Mommy to Leesburg and we all went out to celebrate at our favorite Mexican restaurant with a couple of Mommy's pastor friends afterwards. This is Tracy holding Wesley (she's part of Mommy's covenant group and they lead a district Refocus network together).

Tracy swears she doesn't have the "mom" gene, but she sure makes a great "aunt." Everytime Aunt Tracy held the baby, she put him right to sleep. We'll be sure to keep her number handy for any sleepless nights!

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