Celebrating 25 years of ministry

Today is the 25th anniversary of my ordination. I was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Berkeley, California. My family also gave us a big party that day to celebrate and to say good-bye. Two days later, we left to move to Gardner, Massachusetts, where I became the pastor of the First Baptist Church there.

So I’ve been reflecting on my ministry and thinking about the things to celebrate. Here are ten:

  1. My parents and their life-long commitment to Christ and the church and the way they passed that on to me.
  2. My pastor in high school, Wendell Price, who began considering the New Testament and women in ministry in a context where women could not even lead worship. By his work, he helped me to begin to think about my own calling.
  3. My husband, Karl, and his unflinching support for my ministry, to the point of moving 3,000 miles (and into the snow) and, later, supporting my launch into entrepreneurial ministry.
  4. The people of the First Baptist Church of Gardner, who took a chance bringing a young pastor from the unknown land of California (and Berkeley, no less).
  5. The wonderful colleagues and friends in ministry I have had over the years, across denominations.
  6. Rabbi Edwin Friedman, who taught me a way to be in ministry without wearing out or burning out.
  7. The hundreds of clergy and lay people I have coached, consulted with and spoken to in the second phase of my ministry, to the wider church. Their commitment humbles me.
  8. The resilience of churches and the larger church in the face of many changes and challenges.
  9. The ongoing relevance of the Bible to life and to ministry. While I no longer preach every Sunday, I do read it daily and continue to find strength and resources.
  10. God’s endless love and care for me, and for all of us.

2 replies on “Celebrating 25 years of ministry

  • Karen Gygax Rodriguez

    Happy Anniversary Margaret! We certainly have been blessed by your ordination! I will be celebrating 25 years next October. I’m wondering what else you are doing that helps to honor, remember and mark this sacred day in your life??

    • Margaret Marcuson

      Thanks, Karen! Great question. I’ve been telling everyone, for one thing. My husband and I went out to a nice celebration dinner at the beach on our vacation last week. This week I got out the photo album and enjoyed reliving the service and the party.


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