It is so hard to determine what pictures are “worth” recording…
It is hard to think that the details of this day may someday become like a fog…
But here it is days before my Ordination and already
dazed, confused and forgetful.
There are not many pictures of that day. The 20 images captured by David “Goya” Gonzalez (who admits that he became so fully invested in the moment that he forgot that he was meant to take pictures), captured the staging. The sacred space that can be called the Altar.
And upon and around that Altar were many tools of my journey:
Suitcase, Identity Bowling, Books, Pins from Proyecto Encuentros de Gracia y Bienvenida, Shoes worn during my first sermon and during my first sermon after seminary, pictures of my parents and my grandparents, scarf from Andover Newton Theological School, collection of Justice related pins, pedicure and manicure sets, AAFES shopping basket, Abuela Yeco’s pitcher and cup (gift from Titi Lolita).
And artwork that told the stories or marked a point important to my Ordination Paper:
And while when I was presented/introduced I wore comfy boots, prepared to keep my toes warm…
My comforting-comfortable boots quickly separated from my body that I might better ground myself. And so my presentation of my paper, my sermon was shared while barefoot (because God has jokes!):
And afterwards, I was questioned…
And people spoke on my behalf:
I have three words: brilliant, beautiful, and bold
I apologize on behalf of the UCC that we have placed whiteness at the center of our denomination. Thank you for your brilliance, boldness, and persistence that has pushed back on this.
You done glittered up this whole space and each one of us!
Oh, and the preachers in the room will be using your metaphor of shoes – soon to be heard in a sermon. And I’ll give you credit the first two times I use it! 😊
Rev. Steve Camp
Given the weight of this moment, do you feel it?
I was so at home reading your paper. I applaud you, affirm you, and thank you for your boldness. You have inspired and encouraged me. How do you care for your soul?
Rev. Mark Diters
I want to offer a word of affirmation of the gifts you have and shared with us today. And I want to know about the bowling set!
Thank you for who you are… Garrison Keiler, who is one of my spiritual mentors, you today. Not a sentimental gratitude, but thanksgiving for it all – the joy, the struggle, the running away, the returning home. And First Church is grateful to Manantial de Gracia for being with us in the journey.
I apologize for being late. I have read your paper – more than once! We had many conversations about it. But hearing you today, hearing your words, your images, your hopes come to life – it was glorious! I know you are a woman rooted in God and in God’s word. What piece of Scripture is in your heart at this moment?
Thank you for the reminding us the importance of questioning – and for receiving the questions of others, especially young people. What advice would you give to those of us working with youth? How do we support them in their questions?
They say that heretics are often the saints among us. What is your favorite heresy?
Rev. Maritza (who I often call Pastor Mami)
Thank you for being my alter ego, thank you for being willing to go to new places, thank you for letting me grow up with you!
And when I heard my childhood friend and partner in crime say that she is one of those “unchurched” who calls me to Pastor her in those places that are not considered HOLY… yeah, them onions got to me.
To each who was present, even in the distance, THANK YOU.
To each who woke up and prayed on my behalf, THANK YOU.
May 7th, 2017 (Join us for my Ordination and Installation Service).