The Rev. Jonathan Hanneman reflects on his Ordination to the Priesthood
What a long, strange road it’s been! I’m writing the morning after my ordination to the Episcopal priesthood, and the whole experience still seems surreal. Shannon and I first came to St. Dunstan’s in September of 2009. It was my first introduction to the Episcopal Church, and we quickly found a welcoming home. In late 2012 I began to sense a call to the priesthood. After discussing the possibility with Fr. David, life rapidly changed. I left my job of nine years to become a full time foster parent. When our first child returned to live with her grandparents, I began working as the St. Dunstan’s Parish Administrator, where I received an inside look at the realities of daily church life. As interim Music Director, I spent a school year learning leadership skills and helping rebuild our choir program, all the while busy with the discernment process for the priesthood.
Eventually came BACOM (the Bishop’s Advisory Commission on Ministry) and approval to attend seminary to earn my Master of Divinity. We moved to Austin, where I spent three years in formation at the Seminary of the Southwest and adjusting to Texas’ culture (and heat!). In December I was the second person in my class to be ordained to the transitional deaconate. Of my fifteen or so classmates, only a handful of us were able to return to our own dioceses, and I was the only one who actually got to go home. After graduating on May 22, Shannon and I soon returned to Seattle and have been unpacking and enjoying the Pacific Northwest again ever since.
Ordination itself was, as I said earlier, surreal. I’m still not quite sure I believe it’s happened, apart from the photos and certificate. The ceremony itself was beautiful, and I was excited to see such a large contingent from St. Dunstan’s in attendance. Thank you to everyone who came, and especially to those who volunteered to help with the service.
Thanks also to everyone who was involved in my discernment process over the years: Harley and Melinda Wahl, Karen Tynes, Madeline Sego, Mary Pacher (and Chuck for all his driving!), and Brother Richard. I truly apologize if I missed anyone else — my head is so full right now it’s difficult to remember everything clearly! Thank you also to St. Agnes Guild for your continuing financial support throughout our time in seminary, for the church’s book scholarship each semester of school, and to everyone else who prayed for us and helped in our growth at St. Dunstan’s.
I’m not sure when I’ll have the opportunity to worship with you again as I begin my new job as curate at the Church of the Holy Cross in Redmond later this week. Please be assured of our love and gratitude.
The Rev. Jonathan Hanneman+