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 which referred to the servant charged to welcome those arriving to a castle when the king was away. 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 represent a King and welcome people into His Kingdom. Through my life and work I am called to be a "keeper of the candles", bringing light into the world. The keys I have been given are connections, relationships, and trust. The Psalmist wrote the importance of being a concierge, “It is a good thing to be a doorman in the House of God”.
I enjoy 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 have 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. Glasses are raised in consolation or in celebration. Cocktails are my drink of choice because they’re made in the moment. They are a unique combination of time and place - bitters, spirits, citrus, sugar, mixed, shaken, and stirred. If we get to choose what to do in eternity, where all is made new, where nothing is broken, where there is no tear or sadness, then I’ll choose being a bartender. As I see it, in heaven all glasses will only be raised in celebration to life.
I am clergy. It is not what I imagined I would do, but it is what I have done. The faith community I have served and led, in various ways over these years, is not what many may consider a church. It has met on Tuesday nights for 25 years. But they have been the people and it has been the place where I learned how to be a pastor. I have come to believe clergy as an honorable and humble profession; necessary even in a time when many may question why it is still needed. I have stood in a 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, and now my own father, have died. I spend some of my days writing sermons and reading prayers. Other days I review spreadsheets, financial statements, and annual reports. I believe what clergy may do most is listen. Listen to the people for what they trust 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.