April 2019: A Moment of Celebration & Gratitude

Bonnie WohllebenPastor's Blog

Rev. Ricky Harrison

When I was 18-years old, the summer after graduating high school, my pastor insisted on taking me to lunch before I left for college. Over hamburgers, he asked me whether I had ever considered that God might be calling me into ministry. As an 18-year old, I had some basic inkling I wanted to spend my life serving others – loving God & my neighbors with everything I have. In that moment, and in countless moments since, God has consistently spoken to me through the voice of the Church. It has been pastors, mentors, Sunday School teachers, youth pastors, campus ministers, professors, friends, colleagues, and congregation members who have seen gifts & graces in me that I was not yet able to even see in myself. They spoke words of truth and affirmation in my life, encouraging & challenging me to lean into those places where the still, small voice of the Spirit beckoned. Throughout my life, the Church has time and again affirmed God’s call to a lifetime of service in ordained ministry.

At the end of March, I spent a long morning with lay & clergy persons from across North Texas – the Board of Ordained Ministry – who after deep discernment voted to recommend me for Ordination as an Elder in Full Connection to the 2019 Clergy Session of the North Texas Annual Conference. That means, in short, that this June I will be ordained at Annual Conference. Ordination simply means “to set apart” for a lifetime in ministry serving God & God’s beloved world.

I am incredibly grateful for the love, support, and encouragement you have poured into me these past two years. You have built me up, challenged me to grow, and been for me the voice of God continually speaking words of love & life. I cannot say how thankful I am for all the ways this community has been the hands & feet of Jesus each and every day.

This is in a sense the “last step” on my journey towards ordination – but also simply a “first step” into a lifetime of ministry yet to come. I’m convinced this is merely the beginning – and I am so incredibly excited to be on this journey with the Decatur Methodist Family. Here’s to the many more years of ministry and great God-sized work together yet to come!

In Christ,
Ricky Harrison