Yipes.

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A call to ordained ministry consists of four parts:

  1. General call, by nature of of baptism,
  2. Interior call, or personal sense of call to specific ministry,
  3. Providential call, or gifts and talents for ministry, and
  4. Ecclesiastical call, or the church's affirmation of call.

I've been approved for ecclesiastical council, where #4 will be decided.

In this case, an ecclesiastical council is where the Fox Valley Association (FVA) of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ will invite all FVA clergy plus two adult lay people from each church and one youth lay person from each church to vote on whether I will be approved for ordination. In practice, far fewer people show up. Eleven churches must be represented in order for there to be a quorum.

Others may attend and be there while I am examined, but will have to leave the room with me when they discuss and vote.

If 75% of those voting say "yes", I will be approved for ordination. Other options include "Not yet", with suggestions for study and growth before a subsequent ecclesiastical council, and "No", which means I'm not a suitable candidate for ordination.

The ecclesiastical council is scheduled for 3PM June 2 2013 in Bloomingdale IL.

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