My Journey to Ordination

Weekly Reflection, Friday, June 17

By: Kilpy Singer

After over a decade of discernment and preparation, I will be ordained on Saturday, June 25. I’m sure some day that will feel like no time at all, but right now it feels akin to a 40-year wilderness experience. Now that the day is finally here, I’ve found myself reflecting on these past 12 years and all that they’ve held. The road to this point has been anything but simple or easy, yet God has proved faithful each and every step of the way.

I first felt a call to ministry when I attended a two-week vocational discernment at Union Presbyterian Seminary at the age of 17. As a high schooler, the prospect of serving God and God’s people through a life of ordained ministry was a little terrifying and exciting, but I promised to put one foot in front of the other and see where it took me. My home church at the time, First Presbyterian on Cary Street, raised me up and supported me as a young person. It was there that I first preached, served as a Youth Ministry intern, and explored this call. That community still has a huge piece of my heart.

I eventually made my way to the Anglican Communion and, in particular, to the Episcopal Church. However, while my denomination home changed, my pull towards ordained ministry had not. I had no idea how things would all shake out, much less where I would even end up, but I knew that God was with me. After lots of conversations, praying, and even some avoidance, I began seminary at Duke Divinity School in 2016 alongside my husband Blake.

It is only by the grace of God that we made it through those three years, but we kept putting one foot in front of the other. At times, the only thing that sustained us was peanut butter sandwiches, Morning Prayer, and the memory of how God had called us. After graduating, we moved to Richmond and began the ordination process through the Diocese of Virginia. Since then, we’ve completed countless interviews, applications, ordination exams, and even psychological evaluation (don’t worry, I passed). Now, God willing, we will both be ordained as transitional deacons on Saturday, June 25 and as priests in early 2023.

12 years ago, when I heard from God, I had no idea know how challenging of a road this would be. I also could not even begin to understand how much beauty and joy it would bring. Now, I can’t imagine it any other way. And as I become an ordained person and step into my new role here, I am so grateful to God for this journey and for bringing me here to St. Mary’s.