There has been some good discussion both in comments on this blog and on other blogs that I frequently visit. I hope to get (back) to those conversations soon. However, time restrains me right now, and something else is bugging me.
I am writing the Endorsement Essay for my next step in the Candidacy Process for Ordination in the Lutheran Church. I find some of the questions to be poorly worded. For example:
You will be asked to
serve in accordance with the Scriptures, the creeds, and the confessions of the
ELCA. In light of doctrinal traditions,
what characteristic functions will reflect your role as a ‘diligent and
faithful’ rostered minister in this church?
This is just complicated mush, if you ask me. What are characteristic functions, and how can they reflect my role as a diligent and faithful minister in light of doctrinal traditions? There are so many qualifiers and twists and turns in that question that I’m not sure where to begin. It’s just a poorly worded question, and if my committee were asking me this question in person I’d respond, "why do you ask that question?" or, "what do you mean by that?"
The "diligent and faithful" words in this essay question comes from the ordination liturgy:
Will you be diligent in your study of the Holy Scriptures and in your use of the means of grace? Will you pray for God’s people, nourish them with the Word and Holy Sacraments, and lead them by your own example in faithful service and holy living?
The liturgical response is: I will, and I ask God to help me. Perhaps the best answer I can give to this essay question is simply to quote the liturgy, and ask for God’s help.