As I prepared to be ordained recently, my mind kept returning to the people in my life who might be perplexed by this decision. I have friends and colleagues who wonder, quite justly, what the church has to offer that one cannot find elsewhere. I thought about how I might describe what pulls me toward ministry and the church in particular.
It’s been a long time since Mr. Show with Bob and David has been on HBO, but there are a few sketches that come to mind even now. Especially when I read about the PC(USA) in the news. In particular, "The Fairsley Difference."
A long-running struggle between Catholic authorities and Roy Bourgeois over his support for ordaining women has ended with Bourgeois’s dismissal from the priesthood and his religious order, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have said that recent decisions by two regional bodies to allow ordination of female pastors were “serious mistakes,” and women who are ordained won’t be recognized—at least for now.
You might be on a committee that thinks that a candidate needs that extra training before they ought to be ordained. They could use some time in a hospital setting or in a real world setting before they earn that REV before their name. If you are, then let me tell you something that the seminary student under your care can’t tell you: students can’t afford it any longer.
The number of ordained clergy age 35 or under in mainline denominations is remarkably low. The United Church of Christ lists only 207 clergy in that category—only 4 percent of its total number of ministers.