These days I’m familiar with more and more people who are seeking less preacher-centric relationships with their Higher Power. I’m one of those people as well. In my past I held offices in churches, studied to be an elder, served on committees, and directed choirs, but like so many others, I became dissatisfied with an atmosphere where the emphasis seemed to be on the leader of the house specifying the details of MY personal relationship with the Divine, and making the church experience a social one with the pastor’s superior education and knowledge as the focus.
I considered at one time entering the seminary, but as I was advised by a professor, I don’t have the call to be a pastor. I lack the desire to be a leader. He advised, and rightly so, my heart was in teaching and service. I was surprised to find that it’s regarded as necessary for a pastor to want to be followed. That makes me shudder, so I decided the collar wasn’t for me.
I’ve also always been something of a shadchan, a matchmaker, a Dolly Levi, sticking my hand in and helping God to smooth introductions and encourage relationships. Some of my friends and loved ones who have experienced my prods and nudges are at a place in their lives like me, where they don’t have a church home or a pastor to whom to turn. And here is one place my desire to be of spiritual service can combine with my love for people: I’ve been invited to officiate at the wedding of two very special friends.
So yep, I’ve gotten my ordination and am licensed to officiate at weddings. If Joey could do it on Friends, then hey! No, I don’t feel led to start a church or give sermons. But a life of walking with my God does qualify me to preside at the union of those blessed to find their mate. So if a judge, justice of the peace or ship’s captain isn’t available, just leave everything to me!