Monday, June 23, 2014

Our last weekend in the U.S.

Not a very creative title for this post, but it's late and it would just be a waste of time trying to think of something clever. I wanted to take advantage of being at our friends-with-wifi today and get up a couple of posts.

One of the main goals of this furlough was for Ivan to go through the ordination process. And it really was a process! He met with one of the pastors from our home church once a week the first month, to go over what they'd be covering. Pastor Rob gave Ivan a list of potential questions that he then worked through, using a 5" x 8" index card for each question; the large size gave him plenty of space to write his answer/thoughts on the other side. He spent time just about every day either working through potential questions and searching through Scripture, or going through his existing cards and quizzing himself. Or having me quiz him.

After we got back from our trip out west, he met with the elders for a mock session. Ivan found that helpful as well as encouraging. In the following weeks he just worked on his own, continuing to think through other questions that might arise. For anyone unfamiliar with ordination, the questions cover the gamut of theology, from Christology to eschatology to angelology... You get the idea.

On Saturday, June 7, our home church hosted the ordination council made up of the elders from that church as well as pastors from other area churches. We specifically asked pastors from nearby supporting churches and were so happy that a few could participate, especially considering how June is a busy month for weddings. We started off with breakfast at 8 a.m. and by 8:45 we were settling into the auditorium and ready to begin.
There was a short break mid-morning and then they resumed their grilling questioning. After lunch Ivan shared our vision for the work in Argentina and explained our philosophy of ministry, and then I was asked to join him and share what I thought about the ordination and our call to be missionaries.
When we were done, the pastors met in a closed-door session to discuss whether they felt comfortable recommending Ivan for ordination. Thankfully it was a unanimous YES!  (Whew! Cue us wiping our brows in relief!)

Sunday mornings our church has two services during the summer, but it's not that one is traditional and the other contemporary or anything. It's just that we have too many people coming to be accommodated in one service so there are two, and they're identical in format. In each service on June 8, Pastor Lillie gave the charge to the church while Wally gave the charge to Ivan (which you can read here on Wally's blog). It was amusing that after they presented Ivan with the certificate of ordination in the first service, he had to give it back, so they could give it to him again in the second :)
The one difference is that during the first service Ivan's brother Aldo prayed when they laid hands on Ivan, and his brother Alan (below) prayed during that segment in the second service.
It was a really special day and we are grateful for our home church and the huge part they've played in our lives. They are the ones who trained us before sending us out, and they've been staunch supporters in every sense of the word. We're also grateful that two of Ivan's brothers could be a part of the ordination. Aldo found someone to fill his pulpit and flew out from Colorado to participate. It was supposed to be a surprise but somebody let the cat out of the bag (no, it wasn't me this time!). And Alan, the one Ivan's closest to in age, took time from his responsibilities in the hispanic ministry in his church so he could be there too.

So now you can call Ivan "The Very Reverend Hoyt".

(Cue hysterical laughter.)  

NOT! He's still just plain Ivan :)

And because I'll use any excuse to share a photo of my grandson, here's one taken during the ordination council on Saturday.


Mari said...

What a special day! I love the picture of them laying hands on Ivan and praying. Of course, any picture that has baby Si in it, is wonderful too!

The Bug said...

Wow that's quite a process! Good for Ivan for acing it :)

And oh that baby is just the cutest thing. If anything I think you're posting too FEW pictures of him. Ha!

rita said...

Enjoyed reading about the process and event, was moved by the charge.
Sorry we missed it.