Several years ago, a young man named John Mark worked for me one summer at Passport. We've kept in touch along the way, and have had lots of great conversations about life and church and faith and calling. I was honored and overjoyed when he asked me to serve on his ordination council, and also to preach his ordination sermon. Little did I know how awesome the weekend in Tennessee would be!
I spent some time working on the sermon while at Berkley's swim lesson.
I traveled to Tennessee where John Mark's parents were incredibly gracious hosts for all of us participating in the weekend.
This was such a wonderful reunion of old and new friends.
Someone took fantastic pictures of the service. Although my face always looks strange when I'm caught in the act of preaching, I love having these to reflect on and remember.
This is one of my favorite photos. While I was preaching, John Mark (on the left) holding hands with his younger brother, with their dad in between.
Laying on of hands...
Tiffany also participated in the council & service. She and I went to seminary together, and she is one of the pastors at Metro Baptist- an AMAZING church in Manhattan...
There was a LOT of laughter over the course of the weekend. These guys always keep me smiling.
These guys. They are some of my all time favorites. The three of them worked for me the first summer I coordinated Passport, and they've all been blessings in my life ever since. Timothy (on the left) surprised us with coming all the way from his church in Connecticut, and Elijah (beside me) came from his church in D.C. I just love these young men, and am so proud of all the incredible ministries they are doing in the world. It was a joy to gather together to celebrate and affirm John Mark's calling to vocational ministry.