North Carolina’s Campbell University Divinity School (CUDS) has a Commissioning Service for incoming students every fall. The worship service is carefully planned to welcome in new students, inspire them as they begin their academic journey and affirm their call to ministry.
As simple as it sounds, the service reflects the school’s intentional commitment to provide loving, supportive community for the students it shapes and shepherds for serving God, the church and our hurting world.
Every time I go to that service– or anything CUDS offers–I sense the deep roots of that loving community. And I wish I had experienced that kind of care back in my own Divinity school journey. Thankfully, I get to absorb it now, and it is a balm.
This year, I attended the service as the invited guest of one of my dearest sisters in ministry: the Reverend Danielle Glaze.
Danielle is one of the most authentic, secure-in-her-faith, joy-filled people I have ever met. She simply radiates God’s love and presence. Having faced the valley of jarring loss and come out on the other side, this single mother of two teenagers inspires me with matter of fact, living in the moment trust in God.
One of my favorite things about Danielle is her ability to acknowledge fully the pain and struggle of a hard time in my life or hers or anyone for whom we are praying . . . and yet hold that hard time in the larger context of God’s great and abiding love for us.
When I share my heart with Danielle, I know absolutely that I will be heard, honored and prayed for in that moment and in the days to come. She has that ability to be in the pit with me while letting me know that the pit is not God’s last word for any of us.
So it was with great joy that I attended her Commissioning Service as an invited guest. This service marks a new part of Danielle’s journey, one she had wondered about and prayed over for a long time: Divinity School.
A dedicated student of scripture, natural teacher and gifted preacher, Danielle will flourish at CUDS. I have no doubt. It is my turn in our sister-friendship to know that truth while she is living into it.
I can’t wait to hear what she is learning and how God is at work in this first semester. I can’t wait to hear how much the people at CUDS appreciate her and value her participation in their loving community.
Thanks be to God for Ordinary Saints like Danielle, who inspire, encourage and model what it means to trust God every step of the way. Blessings as you study, my sister! So grateful to be on this journey with you.
Alicia Davis Porterfield writes, ministers and mothers three boys in Wilmington, NC. A Life Coach and retreat leader, she moderates this blog and edited A Divine Duet: Ministry and Motherhood (www.helwys.com).