A Reminiscent Piece of Mike's Mind...
Last month, February 22nd to be exact, was the 23rd anniversary of my ordination into the Unitarian Universalist ministry, a day for which I had spent the previous four years preparing. From deciding I wanted to be a minister, to applying to seminary, to graduating, psychiatric evaluations, chaplaincy training, an internship, passing the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and accepting my first job at High Plains Church, Unitarian Universalist in Colorado Springs.
The previous August, Tammy, three-week-old Zack, and I had arrived in Colorado with a small moving van, our two dogs, and a small mountain of student-loan debt. The congregation I would serve there was tiny. About 40 adults, about 15 children, meeting in rented space in a strip mall, next to a dog-grooming place. My office looked out over single-row parking lot to Spike’s Place biker bar across the street.
I came to love those people. We worked hard together for five years before my family and I moved north to First Unitarian Denver.
As I almost always do on that anniversary, I pulled out the words that were spoken on my ordination, and by which I was ordained:
We, the members of High Plains Church, recognize your calling to the ministry of our faith. By these words, and by the authority of our common spirit, we ordain you, Michael DeWitt Morran, to a life of professional service in the Unitarian Universalist ministry. We would have you touch deeply into the fires of the mind and the passions of the heart. We call you to work and to love, ministering to our joys as well as our sorrows, and to carry the gift of our liberal faith to the larger religious community. We would have you speak the truth in love, heed the counsels of integrity and wisdom, and bring a ministry of healing, compassion, and justice to a world in need of transforming power. Wherever you are called to serve, we charge you to celebrate the mystery and the wonder of life, to be steadfast in sustaining what you believe to be right, and to preach and live by the principles of our shared faith.
Those words never cease to move me, and remind me, of the privilege I’ve been given of trying to live up to them.