Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Tis the Season

It's that season again, when the invitations to ordinations and installations start arriving at your ministerial mailbox. Once again, the time of the year to drag your weary tuchas halfway across the state to schmooz with colleagues in a church parlor while eating cheese and crackers and little bundles of grapes. Once again, the time to enjoy the delightful process of watching ministers trying to form themselves into two parallel lines in a particular order. Let's see, will we sing "Rank by Rank" or "Bring, O Past, Your Honor" as we stroll into the sanctuary, resplendent in robes and stoles? I actually love it. You hang out with friends and you hear good preaching and see churches at their most hopeful, purposeful and optimistic.
The offerings taken usually go to the Living Tradition Fund, a fund administered by that bureau formerly known as the Department of Ministry. The Fund pays out all of its money every year in the form of aid to indigent retired ministers, scholarships for seminarians, and debt relief to ministers who accumulated crushing debt getting through seminary.

I write a check to the Living Tradition Fund and send it off to 25 Beacon Street whenever I receive an invitation to an ordination or installation. I make the contribution in honor of the ordinand, or installee, as I am sure that their name is inscribed with a quill in a giant leather bound volume with gilt page edges and marbled endpapers that rests on a burgundy velvet cushion in the Vault of Sacred Memory there on Beacon Hill.

Go Thou, and Do Likewise!

No comments: