|Singing "Here I am, Lord"|
The week started with a long bus ride at an ungodly hour of day (I left my house at 3am!), and which ended in New York City at 9am. It was a beautiful day, I had my suitcase (on rollers), my backpack (with computer and toiletries) and my purse, along with my cane in hand. I walked about 16 blocks to meet with Suren, one of my classmates, at his hotel. We had breakfast, then headed up to meet with another of our classmates, Farida. The three of us shared a hired car up to the retreat center in Stony Point, NY.
Once I got into my room, I put my things away and got settled. We were almost immediately called to start our oral exams, which thankful were largely group oriented. Again, I can't really explain how those exams made me feel. I wasn't nervous, per se, but it was very intense. We did some large group work, then went into smaller groups. We worked hard, and still answered only a handful of questions because of the group dynamics which provided us with a wide variety of responses.
The food was marvelous. The staff was friendly and helpful. The rooms were quiet, clean, and the beds comfortable. The three days I spent there were wonderful, filled with funny stories, moments of great sorrow, and a lot of tears. We culminated in a ritual that provided a true "birthing experience" for each of us. The details, of course, are private, but the results are obvious in each of my fellow students.
|My blessing, by Rabbi Roger|
The service was incredible, as always. Walking down that long, marble aisle was a bit nerve wracking, I admit. I was worried about my ankle, worried I'd drip wax on my new robe, worried I'd trip or sneeze, or do something else that was a faux pas. Luckily nothing horrible happened, and I made it to my seat with no drama whatsoever. Our class looked marvelous!
We opened the service with an interfaith rendition of "Here I am, Lord" which rocked the house. I was lucky enough to be out front, as we had two small groups doing two of the verses. I was also standing next to my friend Sarah, who belted out her solo to fill the entire cathedral with angelic song. Even thinking about it makes my arms get goosebumps! And then, the moment of ordination arrived, and we all stood up there at the front, facing our friends and family, cameras, and our Deans and instructors.
|Laying on of hands by Father Giles|
|Rev. Annie and me|
Our life isn't perfect. We're still looking for a house, trying to get enough money in the bank to support everything, and trying to keep the five of us together in happiness as much as possible. Perfection is never attainable, though. We're good enough, and getting better. Isn't that what counts?