And, so it begins. Or continues, as the case may be.
This week, I realized it has been one year since Ashley and I committed to a formal discernment process for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church. But, over the past year, as I have wrestled with who I am and who God is, it has become clear that I have been on the path of discernment for the better part of the last 20 years.
When I was 12 years old, I first began participating in a mission trip to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, ND, where I helped put on a VBS for native children at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. And, now, twenty-five years later, after careers in law and politics, Ashley and I are moving our family to the Dakotas. A call to multi-cultural ministry on an Indian Reservation is no light matter. Reservation ministry extends far beyond the cinderblock walls of reservation churches. It is a ministry that reaches into every aspect of the lives of parishioners, their families, and the members of their community, whether they attend church or not. It is a ministry that draws the Gospel out from the safety of revered institutions like seminaries and cathedrals and works out the message of Jesus in the bittersweet realities of reservation life. It is a ministry that feeds much more than just the spiritual needs of a parishioner on a Sunday morning.
To prepare for this ministry, Ashley, the kids, and I are first moving to Alexandria, VA, where I will study for three years at Virginia Theological Seminary (“VTS”). There, I will have the opportunity to study and practice the work of healing and reconciliation around the world, in preparation to bring it home to Standing Rock.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton