Friday, September 13, 2019

27 Years Ago Today...

It was 27 years ago today I received "the power and authority to administer the meal, publicly before the altar from the other pastors with prayer and the laying on of hands," as Dr. Martin Luther describes it in a 1531 letter to Johann Sutel (see Luther, Ministry, and Ordination Rites in the Early Reformation Church, by Ralph F. Smith). You can watch the laying on of hands and presentation of a stole at my ordination on this clip from the video of that service.

The place was in the Chancel at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Canoga Park, California (now Faith Lutheran Church), about 20 feet from from where I had been baptized 33 years, less one week, earlier. I took a few moments today to listen once again to the words from the rite, and invite you to do so also.

Presiding at my ordination was the Rt. Rev. J. Roger Anderson, first Bishop of what is now called the Southwest California Synod, ELCA. My parents presented the stole to the Bishop.

Also speaking the charge to the newly ordained in the rite were the Rev. C. David Olsen, of blessed memory, then my pastor at Resurrection; the Rev. Jeffrey Frohner, a seminary classmate who had been ordained a few weeks earlier and was serving in Santa Barbara; and the Rev. Brian Eklund, who was then pastor at St. Mark's, Los Angeles, where I had served my cross-cultural experience in January 1990.

Also committing the office to me were (in suits, from left to right) Pastors Jack Lundeen (St. Luke, Woodland Hills), John Stump (then retired, and Dave Olsen's predecessor at Resurrection); and Bryan Woken (Shepherd of the Valley, Canoga Park).