On Thursday, the 21st of January, I celebrated the 11th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church, centered in the U.S.A.
As I look back I see a trend: curate for children's ministries at a cathedral and chaplain to the children of poor neighborhood in which that cathedral is located. The cathedral grew through ministry with the poor, which resulted in financial near-ruin.
Rector focusing on ministry with children. The congregation could not afford a full time rector. I helped them make a decision to go with a part time priest, and I got out of the way.
Interim assistant to an interim rector, supporting children's ministries and pastoral care. This church also is in financial difficulty.
Priest in charge for a church for one year, focusing on children and their families. At the end of the year the church closed.
Priest in charge for a church deciding whether or not to close. Most of the few children that were there have left during my time.
Scripture passage that called me into ministry:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
No one even knew about my anniversary this week. Even I forgot. But Life Partner remembered. We went out to dinner. Lovely.