Preside or Celebrate

A friend of mine, Rev. Raul Gutierrez

, brought up in conversation that there is a difference in presiding over a ceremony and celebrating it. Seminary and the ordination process of the UMC teach people how to preside over the table and at funerals and weddings and baptisms. That is the mechanisms are taught and the the protocol is followed. But the fact of the matter is a community does not need anyone to preside over a table or a ceremony, the community needs and desires someone to celebrate it.

We do not need people to read a liturgy like it is the 1000 time they have read it - even if it is so! We do not need clergy thinking for one moment that we are "in charge" (as the dictionary defines the word 'preside'). Churches know that God is the authority in the room. Clergy are called to celebrate it.

So let us all learn to celebrate and give up presiding over our lives.