Monday, April 24, 2017
"Fifty Years in the Gospel Ministry"
The Presbyterian Church of New York City ordained me as a Teaching Elder, Minister of Word and Sacrament, on April 23, 1967. By God’s grace, I will have served fifty years in the gospel ministry on April 23, 2017.
Fifty years as a Presbyterian Minister is some kind of benchmark! Epiphany means the sudden manifestation of Divine Light. My exposure to Epiphany moments needs no exaggeration. God has allowed me many opportunities to experience transformational revelation. The payoff for me has been an embrace of humility.
I quit counting the number of weddings over which I have presided at 1,300. At least 1,000 funerals mark my calendars. My perspective on life has been fine-tuned by being present at both life and death with people I love. It taught me to never take joy and grief for granted. Those experiences color life.
No doubt my teaching and preaching has at times been painful for a variety of audiences. However, as a Teaching Elder, I have cherished every opportunity to teach and preach. Radio and TV have been kind to me. I have had my face on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Amazing experiences!
No matter where I go, I run into friends whose relationships I cherish. My wealth is in my friendships. The Holy Spirit has allowed me to be part of the Body of Christ, and at times, really use me for redemptive ends.
Fifty years! Thank you Lord. Thank you Linda.