I have just sent what might be the most half-assed Ember Letter ever. I'm not sure if it's because my own discernment process sucks right now, or because so many others are struggling, too.

I think about our rich biblical stories:
Moses and the burning bush
Jonah and the failed voyage
David the youngest son
Isaac the unexpected child
Rahab the prostitute
John the Baptist driving everyone crazy
Jesus challenging the authorities of his faith
Jesus challenging the authorities of his faith
Jesus challenging the authorities of his faith

and I am not convinced that people are called by God into ministry by committee. I am not convinced that those in positions of authority have a better idea of what ministry could be, and who should carry it out.

I believe in accountability, and for that reason I think we need people to hold positions of authority. But when they decide what God can and can't and will and won't do, I start to believe they might not know the same God I know. Because the God I know suprises and delights me. The God I know brings wide, abundant hope, and not a narrow rubric. The God I know sneaks up on me to blow apart my ideas about what can be. This Loving Creator whispers that I need to reconsider my absolutes, not shackle others in their snare.

My God says No in love, but my God loves to say Yes.


  1. You and I know the same God. And no, I don't believe God calls us by committee. Rather that God writes upon our hearts. Prayers, and an offer of an email venting buddy if you need one. (Should be available through my profile.)


  2. Oh, I hear you. And not just one committee, but many many committees (I think I've met with.. 5 or more by now.)

    I think God calls each one of us to ministry, and I've realized that even if the church says no, that doesn't mean God isn't going to do something wonderful right where I am. I don't need to be ordained to say yes to God, even though that role would enrich and further my ministry.

    I'm meditating on God-a-la-Tim-Gunn: "Make it work!" :)

  3. Committees, PAH.

    I'm reading Brian McLaren's Everything Must Change. Boy, is it resonating.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins