My curriculum vitae, from the Latin expression 'the course of my life'.
I am a Kingdom concierge. The word concierge evolves from the French comte des cierges, or “the keeper of the candles”. It was a term that referred to the servant who was charged to welcome those arriving to a castle when the king was disposed. Later the role of concierge came to be known as “the keeper of the keys” in prisons, public buildings and places of lodging. I am a concierge for the Kingdom. I am responsible to represent a King and welcome people into His Kingdom. I through my life and work I am a "keeper of the candles" bringing light into the world. The keys I've been given to carry are connections, relationships, honor, and trust. The Psalmist wrote the words of being a concierge first, “It is a good thing to be a doorman in the House of God”.
I enjoy making cocktails. I am from a faith tradition of teetotalers. My first drink of alcohol was at age 22. It was Jack Daniels. It was with two others pastors. Over the years I’ve come to see a glass of wine, a pint of beer, or a well made cocktail as one of life’s great gifts. The spirits lighten the head and the heart. They are raised in celebration and consolation. Cocktails are my choice because they’re made in the moment. They are a unique combination of time and place - bitters, spirits, citrus, sugars, stirred, shaken. If we get to choose what to do in eternity, where all is made new, nothing is broken, where there is no tear or sadness, then I’ll choose being a bartender. As I see it, in heaven all drinks will be raised in celebration to life.
I am clergy. It is not what I imagined I would do for the last 20 years, but it is what I have done. The faith community I have served and led, in countless ways over these years, is on the far fringe of what many would consider a church. But they have been the people and it has been the place where I have learned how to be a pastor. It is a profession I have come to believe as honorable and humble, necessary even in a time when many question why it is still needed. I’ve stood there in that black suit at both weddings and funerals. I’ve prayed in hospital rooms with parents when their children were born, and prayed with children again in those rooms as their parents have died. On a regular basis I spend my days writing sermons and reading prayers. Maybe what clergy is to do most is listen. Listen to the people for what they believe about God. Listen to God for where the people I have been entrusted to lead may go next. It is difficult at times to state all that being clergy is, but in a few words I would say it has been a journey of divine humor, severe mercy, and endless grace.