From Pastor Karen: “It is with sincere gratitude I wish to thank you for your support in my pursuit of the transfer of my ordination.”

Dear Orchard Family, 

It is with sincere gratitude I wish to thank you for your support in my pursuit of the transfer of my ordination. I was ordained to Word and Sacrament in The United Church of Christ in 2008 (14 years ago!). 

Even then, with the following Affirmations, the ECC – Evangelical Covenant Church – was a better fit. However, there were few jobs for women in local churches so I was advised by my mentor to pursue ordination elsewhere. 

Covenant Affirmations are:
-the centrality of the word of God
-the necessity of new birth
-a commitment to the whole mission of the church
-the Church as the fellowship of believers
-a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit and
-the reality of freedom in Christ.

Thankfully, the Covenant’s commitment to biblical support for women in ministry has become a great emphasis, so I began Covenant Orientation with the intention of transferring my standing to the ECC in 2017 when I took Vocational Excellence, the first of four courses required for transfer. Early on, Rev. Becky Barnett from Great Road Church, (formerly High Rock Acton), was a guide through the process.

Between 2017 and 2020, my process paused while I prayed, sought and waited for a call in the ECC. To my delight, Pastor Nick discerned his call into church ministry during those years. In June 2020, we began our call, together, as your pastors here at OCC. 

The pandemic brought many challenges for all of us, but there have been a few benefits. One of these was the swift pivot of Covenant Orientation classes moved onto Zoom. This greatly reduced the expense of these classes and allowed me to complete the remaining 3 courses (ECC History, ECC Theology and ECC Mission and Ministry) required in the Summer of 2020. 

This year required the submission of a Transfer of Ordination paper, an interview with the East Coast Committee on Ministerial Standing, an interview with the Board of Ordered Ministry in Chicago (at Midwinter) and various votes at the East Coast Annual Meeting and at the national ministerium’s meeting. 

Finally, on this past Saturday night, June 25, 2022, my ordination was officially transferred to the ECC. 

I am grateful for your support through this process. I am finally “home.” 

With love and gratitude,

Pastor Karen

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