I have been asked that on numerous occasions these past few weeks, so it seemed a fitting time to let everyone know exactly what this step is in my process and what it will look like.
On March 6 at 3pm, the Southwest Association (that’s our association) will convene an Ecclesiastical Council at the First Congregational Church in Swanzey. The Ecclesiastical Council (EC) is the last step before being approved for Ordination (although it is not yet Ordination), and so it is a major last step in this 6 year process that has included becoming a Member in Discernment, earning my M.div degree, completing my Clinical Pastoral Education, completing 2 years of Field Education, and writing my Ordination Paper.(yay!)
Prior to the EC, my Ordination Paper will be distributed to all delegates to the association (see it here). When we meet at 3pm, I will give a brief presentation and then any delegates will be allowed to ask questions about my paper, my presentation, my theology, my journey, etc. I will be examined in that way for about an hour. Once the questions are done I will step out and the delegates will discuss and vote. An Affirmative vote would be to approve me for “Ordination Pending Call.” And then we will all enjoy a reception there at the church.
The event is open to the public, and I would appreciate anyone who wants to come and be a support, it is also a somewhat rare occurrence in our Association, and so it can be kind of fun to see our church polity in action (well, fun might be in the eye of the beholder). Either way, it is also a good time to express my thanks to this church that has served as my home church. You have been a remarkable support, you have endured my learning-curve, and you have done it all with love. So, thank you.
About the Author
Chris Cornell, our Assistant Minister and Youth Minister, lives in Keene with his wife Tonya, kids Toby and Fiona, dog Erma and two cats Prince and Princess. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and traveling.
Chris loves how ministry blurs the line between the church and the surrounding community. You are just as likely to find Chris in his office as you are to find him at the homeless shelter, at the local coffee shop, or just out and about town.
Chris is a native of Connecticut, but has lived in Keene on and off since 1999. He received his bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in 2002, and his Masters of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in 2014. He has served the United Church of Christ in Keene since 2012.