In the service of ordination and installation for ruling elders and deacons there is a question that is asked of the congregation, "Do we, the members of the church, accept (name) as a ruling elder or deacon, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ?" To be chosen by God is humbling, to lead any congregation in the way of Jesus Christ is certainly daunting.
I have been fortunate and blessed to serve as Clerk of Session in First Presbyterian since 2005. Did God call me to this office? In 2005 when the Officer Placement Committee asked Elders on which Session committees they wished to serve, I mentioned Clerk of Session, since I had been a substitute clerk in the past. As there were no other contenders, the Session elected me as Clerk without objection. God has to have a sense of humor; otherwise, there would be no gift of laughter. I can well imagine God thinking, "He wants to be Clerk of Session!! He is certainly not the most organized person I know; he procrastinates, he is impatient. Not what many would call your ideal Clerk of Session, but Clerk of Session is what I want him to be."
You will find in the Bible story after story of God calling imperfect people to lives of service, to lives that fulfill God's purposes. The Apostle Paul said it best in his letter to the Ephesians (2:10): For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
As primers in school our grandchildren learned a song, "I Am a Promise," which I believe is true of each and every one of us.
"I am a promise,
I am a possibility,
I am a promise with a capital 'P'
I am a great big bundle of potentiality.
And I am learnin' to hear God's voice,
And I am tryin' to make the right choice.
I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be."
Whatever our age or wherever we are in life's journey, we are all promises to be anything God wants us to be. Even Clerks of Session!
About the Contributor
De Calvert is retired from Milliken and Company. He and his wife, Marsha, are enjoying their special calling as grandparents!