“It’s been a long time coming”. Those were the words I offered to my long-time ministerial colleague and friend Jim Miller, II during a recent conversation about whether I was ready for ordination. Having served in Mennonite ministry over twenty years, it was indeed time! Ordination is one of the great joys of the church, and on Sunday, February 17, 2019 I was humbled and blessed to celebrate this moment of being publicly confirmed in the call of God to ministry. A delicate, light snow fell that evening in Boulder, but that did not stop almost 120 people from gathering to sing, pray, hear the Word and respond to my calling with congregational responses and the laying-on-of-hands, led by Rev. Charlene Epp. The children and youth of the congregation presented a framed blessing and charge to the minister, and Boulder Mennonite Church presented a beautiful ordination quilt as a gift. Later we enjoyed a reception that included delicious food and a lot of homemade pies! As a pastor who is openly gay, I recognize the risk-taking decision of Mountain States Mennonite Conference to bless and ordain me to ministry. I stand, humbly and with deep gratitude, on the shoulders of so many who, for decades, have walked the hard road of advocating for full LGBTQIA inclusion and participation in the life of the church. It’s been a long time coming. The journey continues. May we continue the work of the Spirit toward justice, truth and love in blessing and celebrating for the gracious gifts of God to everyone.

A choir of MSMC conference church members, friends from Florida, Indiana and Virginia sang a beautiful new hymn, “Could It Be That God is Singing” by Becca J.R. Lachman

Regional MSMC Conference minister, Rev. Charlene Epp, presides during the Ordination examination questions with Randy Spaulding and his husband, Gary Stephens

 

BMC members present Randy with an ordination gift of a beautiful quilt made from fabric donated by church members (left to right: Carole Suderman, Steve Voran, Randy Spaulding, Terry Mast)

 

Laying-on-of-hands and prayer led by Rev. Charlene Epp