Taking the Next Step in the Journey

Member in Discernment Begins
27 Sep 2016
Tony E Dillon-Hansen

May the word my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to thy sight our Rock and Our Redeemer.

I first have to thank the Discernment Committee, my husband (Bret-Wayne), the Deacons, the Chancel Choir, Stephen Ministers, the Church Council, and Plymouth Congregation as a whole for helping me to start, to reflect, and to contemplate this journey. There is so much you have given to me already that it pales in comparison to what I can give back.

I believe this recognition and recommendation to be a powerful and solemn reminder of the privilege of being a representative (a minister) of the good people in our world.

I strive to be the best that I can be and to be always worthy of this recognition that the people of Plymouth bestow upon me.

When I do my work, and perhaps when the day comes that I am called to ordination, I will remember and keep your trust in me and my work because Plymouth has become a home.

I am humbled to be your servant always.

I remember being called in my youth—but not finding the right reasons to answer that. I had to learn and walk through a few wildernesses (and I imagine more to come.) I have only a vague idea of where this is going and so, I am putting faith and trust into God’s call.

I do know, I have had to endure a lot of events in life. With the help of training, education, mindfulness and God, this journey has already given more peace and patience to me.

I know that many more challenges await me as I progress in this process and beyond, AND
I know that I have found a home in the UCC and Plymouth.

I first met with cynicism the words from this Church about being welcoming as that is how I came to think of organized religion. Plymouth, however, answered some of my questions and caused even more.

I enjoy the phrase from our Church that says to ”grow” in love. That word “grow” is important to because it recognizes that change is a universal constant. That love will grow over time if, like a gardener, you tend to the work of planting i.e. love.

My theology has transformed considerably from my youth into what I understand today and will continue to evolve. I went from rigid doctrine-defined embedded theology to progressive and deliberative theology. While I have reverence for many traditions, I went from confusing doctrines to a cohesive understanding about the complex-but-simple Way, enlightenment, inclusion, compassion, the Buddha, God, Church and Jesus.

I have much to learn, and I am more willing to walk and to learn with you more than ever before.

I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but they happen. As I said in a recent course discussion (some wonderful people there with thought provoking ideas), we have to be prepared for the hour as in the parable of virgins from Matthew 25. If we are to leave a lasting and good legacy, then we have to be prepared to showcase our good life when we are no more. I believe that this is how I will “showcase” my good life.

If I may suggest, I might understand why Pope Francis would use the bus instead of chauffeur transportation as a bishop and priest. I ride the bus to work (one to help my finances) but because, 2, I get to be reminded to grow with all parts of God’s kingdom that Jesus tells us to do (John 4: 7-15).

Do what Jesus did and go to the watering hole so you can grow with the community. My what mass transit systems can show us a lot about the community we are living and about the faith we have.

Some may call me a master in martial arts, but more importantly, I am ALWAYS a student. Like being a martial arts instructor, I know that whatever I bring to the community and the Church, the Church and the community will teach me more. I know I will evolve, and I hope to help Plymouth to continue to be a beacon of hope, trust and faith.

My brief ministry experience, so far, has taught me about the peace and honor that comes with this work and I am seeing opportunities to “grow” this experience..

I pray that I, my family and my work continue to be worthy of your recommendations here and to be a force for positive energy and faith in our community.

Again, I am humbled and thankful to be God’s Servant and Your Servant.

Lao Tzu is quoted as saying “a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.” and so I step.

Thanks Be To God.