It’s been two weeks since my ordination to Christian Ministry in the PAOC; since I went from becoming a licensed minister to a Reverend. It’s still surreal, but I know things have shifted deep in my own soul and for others. For example, just this morning at church a gentleman came up to me and said, “Good morning Reverend, I’m Lawrence.” I replied, “Good morning, I’m Carmen.”
You see, I’ve not forgotten that I’m still Carmen. But the day of my ordination, I took on a new responsibility, that of Reverend. I have thought many times in the last two weeks about that ordination service. For me, it was a day in which I committed my life to the Body of Christ. To its service. And it wasn’t just a private declaration, it was very, very public. Public in my home church. Public with the blessing of the ordained ministers present that day. Public with the laying on of hands and a prayer of blessing and sanctification. I was publically set apart for Christian Ministry. It was a public affirmation of the call on my life. And it felt like coming home. For many, many years I had wondered where I fit. Why the pull in my heart to pursue this path. Now I know. Do I know all that is yet to come? No. But I know this: God called. And I followed.
It was a day surrounded by family and friends. One of those present was my long-time friend, Yvonne. She and I have quite a history. I mean how can you not when you’ve been friends since Grade 8! We’ve journeyed through high school graduations, weddings, child birth, the death of her first husband, Peter, operations, teenagers, her marriage to a fantastic guy named Doug, to name a few. I thank God for the richness of that length of friendship. And I have another friend, Karin. We’ve only been friends for a few years, but it feels like longer. She made the two delicious cakes for the small luncheon after the ordination service. She and I often walk together, laugh at goofy things, and challenge one another in our daily walk with God. Then there was my brother, Vince, and my in laws, John and Teresa, who came from BC, not to mention all of the local friends who came. And there was my tribe, my hubby and kids who came. And my hubby, Albert, he was a rock star that day. He stood on stage (no small things for extreme extroverts!) with me as I answered the questions, publically committing my life to the service of Christ’s Church.
The closest I can come to describing that day is like this: It was the day I covenanted my life in service to God and His Church. As long as I am in my right mind, I will not forget my promise. And if there be a day that my mind no longer works as it should, my soul, because God is its shepherd and guardian, will never forget.
It’s a new day and a new season of ministry and service, Reverend Carmen Kampman has stepped into her calling.
Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my journey. Thank you for the cards and gifts, they were totally unexpected blessings. In future days I will read them again to savor their truths and the words of encouragement contained within. And on the days or months when it’s hard, I will pull them out and allow them to serve as reminders of April, 22, 2018.
It would be my prayer for you that you, too, would hear the call of God and follow.
Reverend Carmen Kampman