Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ordination Vows

I got ordained on Sunday by a whole crowd of wonderful and strange people.

The whole service was awesome. I don't know what else to say about it.

Here are the vows that I made, drawn from a wide variety of traditions and colleagues.

---Ordination Vows

We will begin with a reaffirmation of the vows made for you at your baptism and made by you at confirmation:

On behalf of the whole church, I ask you:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?

DW: I do.

Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms the present themselves?

DW: I do.

Do you confess Jesus Christ as your savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?

DW: I do.

And continuing with new vows:

Do you believe that you are truly called to the work of the pastor as your vocation and ministry in this season?

DW: I do, God being my help.

Will you be faithful in prayer and devotion, in reading of the scripture and in examining of your own heart?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you invite others into the holy work of God, into the proclamation of the Gospel, into the movement for the coming Kindom of God? Will you seek to empower everyone you encounter in their own vocations, their own ministries and calls?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you refuse to follow the biases of the world, and seek to follow only the biases of God?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you be faithful in preaching and teaching the Gospel, administering the ordinances and rites of the church, in exorcising demons and in exercising pastoral care and leadership? Will you bear faithful witness to the history and practice of your Baptist tradition?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you endeavor to seek, always, the further edge of possibility? Will you bring a radical hope to mundane moments, a radical joy to terrifying moments, and a radical love to difficult moments?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you endeavor to know, always, the nearer shores of comfort- the solace of God's own embrace, through prayer, fellowship, rest, and play? Will you maintain friendships, interests, and intimacies outside the congregation of your service, as a commitment to your own full living?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you endeavor to release your grasping, to cede that which is not yours to control? Will you uphold your calling as a sign and agent of God's saving work in the world, remembering that you are no savior, but only the teller of salvation's story?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you care for all of God's creation, in its radical diversity, both in its present Now and its future Not-Yet, including your own self and body?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you be brave and honest, loving and clear, in understanding that people will sometimes look to you as a way of looking for themselves, the lost truth of the Divine Within, and in helping them in that search?

DW: I will, God being my help.

As an agent of truth, will you love the dishonest? As an agent of justice, will you love the unjust? As an agent of reconciliation, will you love the divisive? As an agent of kindness, will you love the cruel?

DW: I will, God being my help.

Will you relentlessly serve the cause of Jesus in the world until you cease to draw breath or until justice is won and we all feast together at the Great Welcome Table?

DW: I will, God being my help.

And now, after those 3 and 12 vows for the ordinand, there is just one for you:

Will you the gathered community support David Weasley in the ministry of Christ? (If so, say, "We will.")

The People: We will.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

faces of a new generation

So... as many of you know, my ordination is coming up. I don't know if this is related or not, but here is an awesome youtube video my friend helped make a few months ago. I don't know what else to say about it.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Shame-Related Confessional Sequence from Emily Jones

Emily Jones wrote a great confessional sequence for a class she's in.
Me: "You should put this up somewhere where people can get it!"
Emily: "Like where?"
Me: "Like... the internet?"

Anyway, it's based on the first creation story, and is in opposition to some popular interpretations of the second one...

Here it is: (apparently we're doing blogging liturgical elements for Casimir Pulaski day...)

God created all people in God's own image. God affirmed, at the first moments of creation, the goodness of all that God had made. Yet, we have rejected God's creation, blasphemed against this Holiness, drowning ourselves and each other in a culture of shame, rejecting what God named good, in one another and ourselves. We have come to repent of the ways we have shamed others; we have come to refuse the shaming we have received. We have come to see God's creation more rightly and ready ourselves for action.

Come. Gather with me in a moment of prayer, as we earnestly open our hearts to God and to one another.
Hear, O God, our prayers.

Jesus, we come to you a shamed and shaming people.
Release us, God, from this bondage.

We have swallowed shame, which we did not deserve.
Heal us, for we are your good creation.

We have force-fed shame to others, which they did not deserve.
We repent of our sins and look to be made anew.

We have learned and forced on others this falsehood, too often,
teaching others to be ashamed, learning to be ashamed:

for the color and texture of our hair
but you, O God, created our hair
for the shape of our desires
but you, O God, are in our wanting
for the thickness of our accents
but you, O God, are in our voices
for the appearance and abilities of our bodies
but you, O God, made our holy flesh.

Learning and teaching shame, also:
for our dreams, too outlandish to be real,
but you, O God, are in our dreaming
for our tears, too messy,
but you, O God, are in our struggles
even, sometimes, for the unseemliness of our joy
but you, O God, made all people in your likeness, your good creation.

Under powers and principalities too numerous to name, we have learned shame.
We have not only learned, we have also taught; we have been oppressors as well as oppressed.
Come, God, and enter into our brokenness.
Let us be cleansed of the evil done to us.
Let us repent and turn from the evil that we have done.

At this time, some moments of silence will be observed.

God says to us, clearly: You are beloved in ways beyond your knowing. You are the flesh of my body, born of the first waters, born of my own blood. You are the good creation, a people fated to wholeness. I give you my strength. Go, now, into God's good creation, rejecting all that is evil and turning towards God in all you do. Go now to one another and offer a sign of God's presence, a mark of God's peace.

At this time, please greet each other with a sign of peace, remembering the fullness of God's affirmation.

welcome: your citizenship is in heaven

At the church where I've been working, it's customary to share some piece of poetry or inspiration as part of the welcoming time in the service. Here's something I wrote up for yesterday's, inspired by the bit in last Sunday's lectionary about citizenship in heaven.

Your Citizenship is in Heaven
Phillipians 3:18-4:1

When they tell you that you have no place here
when they tell you that you are not important enough,
not ordinary enough, not quiet enough
to fit in here:
say it, out loud or silently:
My citizenship is in heaven.

When they mock you, when they fear you,
when they refuse to sit next to you in the bus
or in the church sanctuary
tell them, out loud or silently:
My citizenship is in heaven.

When they tell you that you don't belong here
because you have the wrong papers
because you weren't born here
because you don't have a job or
because you don't have a family:
write it on your protest signs
and door frames and hearts:
your citizenship is in heaven.

When they try to keep you in your dead-end job,
your dead-end life;
your category, your gender, your nationality:
Remember: you cannot be contained
you are in league with the Risen One
your citizenship is in heaven.