February 15, 2015

Pastoral Letter

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
~ Matthew 4:19

It has been over twelve years since Jesus placed these words on my heart. I have lived in four homes: in Westwood, Paso Robles, Reseda and now Rossmoor. I left a career in professional, international opera production; entered seminary, and took a job as a youth director. I met and married my husband, and we now parent two children together. My mother shared her cancer diagnosis, fought bravely through two stem cell transplants and died.

It has been a journey like none other; like none that I expected; like none that I would have designed.

Last Sunday, I announced to the Los Altos UMC and the four other churches that have known me and supported me in recent years, that I have been recommended for Ordination as an Elder and Full Membership in the Annual Conference. I am relieved; I am exhausted; I am full of joy; I am full of thanks. And, I am reminiscent as I sift through the liminal moments on this journey, remembering acquaintances and close loved ones; seminary classes; significant transitions; and friends gained and lost along the way.

Through it all, again and again, through the doubts and affirmations, the challenges and struggles and joys, too, I hear Jesus’ words to me: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Ancient words that call us all. Ancient words that call each one of us to God’s ministry with the world; ancient words that remind us of the mountains of work that has been done by the saints who came before us ... and the mountains of work … that is yet to be done.

I never, ever thought or dreamed that God would call me (!) to ordained ministry. Yet, here I am … fishing for people. And, I see now that I never, ever could have known such peace, such a deep and whole peace in my heart without first following Jesus and listening to God’s call.

Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Melinda

Special Invitation to the Ordination Ceremony
Saturday, June 20, 7:30 PM
Chapel @ University of Redlands Redlands, California
All are welcome. All are invited. All means All.