Preface: I am at the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod’s annual Synod Assembly in Reno. I have many pastor friends and family and I have found that the ordination and installation services for pastors have been joyful reminders of the call to serve all people with humility, respect, and love, especially those considered “the least” by society.
This is my question to the leadership of my denomination:
Where are the call and discernment committees for teachers, office workers, salespeople, police, politicians, lawyers, etc? Doesn’t God call each of us to serve in vocation? Why only a public affirmation of call and support in vocation for pastor-types? We need to have liturgy for services calling people to commit before God and community to serve fairly in any job, and for the community to also commit to support.
I believe my faith is relevant in my discernment process, regardless of whether or not the vocation to which I am called is a ministry directly supported or funded by the church. For the church to feel relevant to me, I need the church to affirm (on that bizarre level of individual and community, town and nation, earthly and divine) that the church shares my belief in the relevance of faith beyond the pews.
With love and hope in our shared faith,