Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Call

It's been a long time since I last blogged. You've all probably completely quit checking this site to see if I've written anything. I've been able to proceed in the ordination process through the stage of having my care team hear me preach. It went well I thought. I preached for the Open Door, and not for those judging my preaching. The final stages in the ordination process are going to be difficult for me. It's interesting because the Open Door cannot call me to be one of their pastors, the New Church Development Task Force has to call me. I met today with some of them. They are concerned that our church will not be able to support both BJ and I financially on a long term basis. This is a good issue to bring up, we've already through long and hard on this issue and we have plans to make it happen. It's a difficult one for me to deal with though since it puts my calling to the Open Door and my calling to be a pastor in question. I know God has called me to be where I am and I know God has called me to proceed through the years of seminary and the ordination process. I also know that if God wants the Open Door to have two pastors we'll have two pastors, if not, we'll have one. I'm willing to take that risk and continue serving where I am as long as I can. The problem that I see is that the NCD task force already allowed the Open Door to hire two full time pastors, it just happens that we're not ordained yet. Ordination is really a validation from the structure that I am called by God to be a pastor in this church. The problem is that the church has already decided to call me one of their pastors. Unfortunately this issue is all about nickels and noses, can the church pay us both long term. BJ and I will continue seeking to fulfill the mission of the church as we do our best to send out Christ's disciples into the world.


Stushie said...

"The problem is that the church has already decided to call me one of their pastors."

John, if the church is already calling you their pastor, aren't they willing to pay you a salary?

Christy Valencheck said...

John, we'll be praying for you and Alyssa and Teah as you put your head to God's heart to hear the rhythm for this season.

We miss you. Provided I don't give birth in the next two weeks (which I may- another preterm problem) you may be seeing us very soon.

Love, Valenchecks

John said...

The crazy thing is that they DO pay me a salary, full time. The problem is whether the denomination will allow me to have the official "ordained" title at a church that might not be able to pay me in 4 or 5 years when the denominational grants run out. We're a very new church that's reliant on these grants.

Sarah Louise said...

John, I think you're looking at this hard issue in a very honest and humble manner. I bet there's more than one time you and BJ both wish you weren't in the confines of the Presbytery...but I keep thinking about how the Pgh Presbytery ordained Fred Rogers to do his show. He was ORDAINED to be Mr. Rogers. So, keep trucking and we'll all keep praying.