I’m Certified…

The last time I wrote about the ordination process, here on HebrewDawn, it was to say I was withdrawing from it. A lot has happened since then, I suppose there’s some updating to do between that post and sharing that I’m certified ready to receive a call in the PC(USA)…

After my last post, I received an unexpected message from a very dear friend who served on the CPM (Committee on Preparation for Ministry) at the time. They informed me that the committee had received my letter and wanted to be sure this was what I really wanted. They felt confident that I would someday finish this process, but understood that I was not in a place at that time to pursue accepting a call (hello, I had a three year old and a baby). They wanted me to know that if I proceeded with withdrawing from the process but felt the call to finish the ordination process later, that I would have to start all over.

What would that mean for me?

1. Apply with my church and then the CPM to become an inquirer (again). If approved during my meeting with the committee, I would have to wait six months to a year before I could apply for candidacy. During this time I would undergo a psychological evaluation, and have an annual consultation with my CPM liaison.

2. Apply with my church and then the CPM to become a candidate (again). In order to do this, I would need to complete the required paperwork, prepare seven essays (my understanding of Christian vocation in the reformed tradition, a statement of faith, an analysis of at least one concept from my faith statement, a statement of what it means to be presbyterian, a statement of self-understanding, a statement of my understanding of the task of teaching elders and my specific gifts for ministry).

3. If approved by the CPM to be a candidate, I would then have to go before presbytery (again) to be examined. If approved by them too, I would have to wait at least 1 year before I could apply to be certified ready to receive a call and complete some additional steps.

3. I would need to retake all FIVE ordination exams: Bible Content, Biblical Exegesis, Theological Competence, Worship and Sacraments, and Church Polity.

4. Complete a pastoral internship at a church, complete a CPE (clinical pastoral education) program, as well as the required personal and supervisor evaluations for each internship/program.

5. Throughout the waiting and work of the prior steps I would need to ensure I had an annual consultation at least once every twelve months with my CPM liaison.

6. Once the prior steps were completed I would apply to the CPM to become certified ready to receive a call. In order to do this, I would need to complete the required paperwork, prepare a PIF (personal information form, aka a Presbyterian pastor’s resume), write my statement of faith, and prepare an exegetical sermon.

When I realized I would have to repeat five steps that I had completed ages ago for something others and myself believed I was called to do felt crazy. Why would I withdraw from this process if I was going to pursue finishing it at some point? So the decision was made to stay in the process, and complete step 6.

I was ready to do this last year, but a massive project at work put all of it on pause until it was complete. I knew that being a SME (subject matter expert) for our conversion team and anything additional was just too much. If you or someone you know works for a financial institution and has been through a core conversion you know what massive undertaking that was. Once the conversion project was done and I felt like I could breath, a pandemic hit and the world stopped. As weeks turned into months, I realized I was not willing to wait anymore. By September, I was determined to finish what God called had me to start several years earlier.

October was a busy month of pulpit supply, work, Girl Scouts leadership, waiting to learn what school would look like in November for my kids, and finally meeting with the CPM (Committee on Preparation for Ministry) to apply to be certified. To say I was stressed, worried, and anxious would be an understatement.

Not being one to give up (easily), I prayed a lot, wrote a lot, and did what was needed. On October 27th, I met with the POJ Committee on Preparation for Ministry at 1:30 over zoom. This was a meeting with the CPM like none other. Rather than waiting outside to be called in, I sat in a virtual waiting room not knowing who would be in the meeting other than my liaison and pastor. To my surprise, there were three very familiar, smiling faces, of people I’ve known from my time at Union Presbyterian Seminary. There were other familiar faces, some new, and there was a screen to provide me some space and distance for comfort.

After some questions, conversations, faith journey sharing (for those unfamiliar with my Buddhist background), and feedback, I was sent back to the virtual waiting room. There I “sat” while the CPM deliberated on whether or not I should be certified ready to receive a call. Unlike the physical waiting room at the POJ office, where I would sit with my pastor, I sat alone waiting and wondering what would happen next. After what felt like an eternity, but was probably 5-10 minutes, I was welcomed back into the meeting. I received the wonderful news that the CPM agreed that I should be certified ready to receive a call.

What does this mean now?

Now I must find a call (aka a job, for you non-Presbyterians) so that I can get ordained. My PIF is now up on the CLC (Church leadership connection), which is kind of like an online dating platform for pastors and churches. If my PIF matches the needs/wants of a churches MIF (ministry information form), we’ll get connected to see if they should interview me. In the meantime, I’m going to keep praying, doing pulpit supply, and keep hope alive that the right call is out there somewhere.

I’ve missed you…

For two years I’ve been blogging exclusively over on the new site, and not posting over here. In retrospect, we should have shared with you about the new site more on HebrewDawn. This site began as my own little space of the Internet, but it became a shared space for Erica and I. The two of us realized over time, as we’ve shared, that a rebrand was in order. But if I’m going to be completely honest, I’ve missed you, since the new site was launched.

In having a new site with a refined focus on wellness and self’s care, this has shifted me away from writing as much about faith and motherhood. Those are not topics most of our followers are interested in reading. Some of you that have followed for quite sometime will want what we offer on The91Rewind more than what I alone offer on HebrewDawn. Some of you may want my posts focused on encouragement, faith, motherhood, and the like here. The focus of HebrewDawn was and remains is:

words to encourage and inspire.

You are a diverse bunch that follow HebrewDawn, and for that I am grateful.

I’m not sure how often I’ll write over here. The content will still be much of what it was long before. More than likely, you will find:

  • what’s going through my head
  • what I am wrestling with in this current state of affairs (*ahem* #45)
  • what’s happening personally
  • what I’m studying about Christianity, world religions, or language (yes, I’m kinda nerdy)
  • follow along as I finish the ordination process ( yes, the same one I discussed withdrawing from before).
  • reflections on motherhood that I’m not sharing on Richmond Moms Blog (yes, I’ve started writing over there too).
  • Thank you for sticking around, waiting for me, and asking where I’ve been. I’ve missed you, and I’m happy to be back.
  • – CVP

    Hello Again

    It has been a long time since I last wrote here, and I’ll hope you’ll forgive my silence. I’ve most certainly missed you, writing, and connecting with you. As an avid blogger reader myself, I know how strange it can feel when one of your blogs go silent. 

    I hope you can hang in there as I explain what’s been going on. For starters I’m 26 weeks pregnant, and the first trimester was a  it of doozy. On top of it all Erica and I have had some things we’re working on for the site that have taken longer than planned. Rather than continue with silence, I’ve realized it’s better to keep writing and make the best of things. When our new project is ready, trust me that you’ll find out first here not Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

    Today is a short update, but you’ll hear more from me again soon. In the meantime don’t miss out on Instagram where you’ll see me most often. I’ll be back writing again more frequently and consistently before you know it. 

    Books to Read and Things To Do

    For as long as I can remember I’ve been a lover of books. In elementary school my nerdiness had no limits. I couldn’t get enough of the adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, or learning about the journey along the Underground Railroad. But don’t think I wasn’t your typical 80s/90s girls because I did love the entire Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High series. At that young age I was all about savoring one book at a time, but by high school and college I was mixing in fun reading with required reading. It was then that I began reading multiple books at a time, and has now led to my current dilemma. I am currently reading six books! Yes six books, and have a stack of at least 12 other books that I want to read this year as well. Some of the books that I am currently reading or wanting to read have been in process for the last couple of years, and the list of books I want to read is ever growing. Despite my huge stack of books I am determined to finish all of them in 2016. I’m telling you, my faithful readers, so I’m accountable to someone else to follow through on this plan. If I don’t finish these books by December 31st off they must go to a new home, because clearly I’m not reading them.

    So are you reading anything good right now? Now to share some of my favorite random things for the week…

    Every now and then I stumble upon all kinds of greatness, and this Lemon + Olive Leaf candle at Target is just one of those things. I was in “need” of some new candles for the house that didn’t smell like Fall or Christmas. I’ve been burning the candle the last two nights and I am in LOVE. It’s such a light refreshing scent without being overpowering.

    If you’re not familiar with Glennon Doyle Melton, I highly recommend checking out our her blog Momastery. I love the pick me up, encouragement, and inspiration I get from her writing and stories on her blog, Instagram and Facebook. Now she has a book coming and I couldn’t be more excited. I guess I need to hurry up and finish my stack of books so I can add hers to it!

    Are you a sleep deprived parent or remember those days? Then this parent fantasy hot-line is going to hit very close to home!

    Happy Friday and may you find moments of peace this weekend!

    For those that saw last week potty training started in our house, I can share we’ve now survived two weeks. If you’re in the beginning stages,you’ve got this!
    Please note there are some affiliate links in this post. Have no fear, they won’t hurt you if click on them, but I may receive a little financial benefit from your purchase. This means that the funds from your purchase go towards growing this blog and providing better content for you and all the other HebrewDawn readers. As always, I only link to products I trust and use!

    Happy Friday!

    How as your week been? My week has been a good one, but full of many unexpecteds. My daughter decided this week that she was done with diapers, so we’re on day five of POTTY TRAINING. I’ll share next week about how it’s been going and our technique. Have any fun plans for this weekend?  Looks like I’ll be on the lookout for the nearest restroom.

    Let’s be honest ladies, there’s a strong chance we will each be making a trip to Target in the next day or two…. and this video explains how it will go so well! While you’re there, don’t forget to use Cartwheel and your Red Card. I’m a firm believer that if I’m going to buy what I must have don’t need, at least I can use my two favorite ways to save money at Target. Um, have you seen this adorable giraffe? I have a girlfriend that would totally flip for this, so I might have to buy her birthday present EXTRA early.

    Are you an Emily Ley fan? I’ve been a huge fan of my simplified planner and mommy notes. I’ve also loved her simplicity challenge, but I’m so bummed I missed completing it with her. Anyone want to do it with me? It will be 30 days of purging, simplifying, and getting our lives house a little more organized and tidy.

    I hope you have something fabulous planned. I hope my daughter will let us sleep in and that our weekend is filled with those we love and doing what bring us joy.

    Please be aware there are some affliate links in this post. Have no fear, they won’t hurt you if click on them, but I may receive a little financial benefit from your purchase. This means that the funds from your purchase go towards growing this blog and providing better content for you and all the other HebrewDawn readers. 


    How was your week? It’s hard to believe we’ve already hit the second month of 2016. This year is flying by so quickly, which means the months, weeks, and days are too! How are you making the most of each day?

    This fall I started listening to podcasts A LOT. It’s been a great way to fill commute time and something to listen to other than music. The first podcast to really get me hooked was The Lively Show. I have since binge listened to EVERY SINGLE EPISODE catching up on all that I missed. In the midst of my Lively Show binge fest, I started hearing all this hype about Serial with the new season coming, and got hooked on Season 1, I am now current on both of those podcast, and the wait for new episodes always feels like an ETERNITY. If you haven’t checked out either one, I highly recommend it.

    Since finishing season one of Serial, I’ve joined the hosts of others wondering what would happen regarding Adnan Syed and his case. From what I can deduce, signs point to the wrong person being charged and convicted in the death of Hae Min Lee. Her family deserves for the murderer to be behind bars, but is Adnan really innocent or guilty? Well, with all the publicity from Serial, there is now a hearing going on (today is day three) to see if he will get a new trial. For the last two days, I’ve been keeping up with the Serial updates from Sarah Koenig and following Jessie DeSilva on Twitter. I’m so curious to know what will happen. What are your thoughts?

    Oh my gosh, Ash Wednesday is coming up next week. If you’re looking for a great activity for your family or congregation, check out these Lenten coloring posters from Illustrated Children’s Ministry. I need to get my order…

     There’s lots of rambling I could do right now, but I’ll spare you from that. I hope you have a great weekend!!!


    How was your week? Were you snowed in with your family like much of the East Coast? If you were surrounded by sunshine and grass, I am envious! After the snow day that turned into house arrest being snowed in for four days, I was so happy to see my grass on Wednesday! Thank goodness for great movies, food, and wine to help those snow days less burdensome.

    Speaking of wine, have you heard about these champagne gummy bears? I have been seeing many posts about them, but haven’t got my hands on been able to devour them yet. Please tell my bubbly loving heart they are as a divine as they sound!

    Lately I have been working harder to get our home office more presentable, and I saw this beauty on Glitter Guide’s Instagram feed this week. I now know two things needed for the office, a cozy rug and that button. Any home office decorating tips?

    In November I devoured the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and joined the KonMari fan club. I could totally relate to Marie Kondo’s lifelong obsession with organizing and finding the perfect place for everything. I have driven my parents and brother batty from organizing their things, and now do it to my husband. I’m still working on KonMari-ing my home, but I’m LOVING her folding techniques! Have you tried her method at all?

     Last weekend our daughter learned the fine art of sleeping in, and suddenly it ended on Tuesday. It was a good thing since we had to go to work, but I’m hoping she re-learns it for this weekend. Are you a sleep lover like me? I think many of us are good at sleeping in, but struggling with falling asleep. Here’s a great technique to help you out!

    Hope you have a happy Friday, and a beautiful weekend!



    How was your week? Mine was pretty good, but I was shocked by the frigid temperatures here in Richmond, Virginia. It’s really rare for temperatures be below 25 during the winter, and it was EIGHTEEN degrees on Tuesday. For those of you that live in areas where this the norm, how do you do it??? So on top of the cold temperatures this week, we are supposed to be getting snow today. Forecasts say it could be up to TWENTY inches, but I’m not sure I’ll believe until I see it. They’ve said it would be a terrible storm before and absolutely nothing happened. The craziest thing with all of this weather, is that as of yesterday (Thursday) afternoon many local schools and businesses declared they were closed for today, even though NO snow was falling from the sky. Richmonders just don’t do well with snow…

    *update* early closures turned out to be a good thing as the snow statues at ten this morning! Seeing is believing, and this storm may be a big one after all!

    Snow Prep with Peifer

    With the impending weather I was so sad to learn yesterday that I was out of milk and almost out of bread in my house. With snow in the forecast, I knew every grocery store would be a DISASTER and the shelves would be void of milk and bread. I’m not one to stock up on bread and milk before a storm, so I thought long and hard about whether or not we really needed milk. But here’s the thing, I live with a two year old that loves milk. So off to Costco I went after work with the two year old by my side.  And a miracle happened. We got through the store without losing my sanity and  we only had to wait behind three! #winning

    So I always thought that the N E E D to buy bread and milk before a snowstorm was a weird Richmond thing, but it appears it’s not just us! CNN actually wrote an entire article about bread, milk, and snow! Who knew we get to blame the yankees for starting this?!

    If you’re in the snowpocalypse zone, you are most likely going to be  locked up with your kids for the weekend and looking for something to do. May I suggest spending a weekend having fun with the fine art of cursive. Do you remember learning it in elementary school and still use it? I know that I do. I have even read studies that show that cursive is good for memorizing things when you write it down. Knowing this, I was shocked to learn that our local school system no longer teaches it to students! Turns out this isn’t the only school system to do away with it, and now folks are writing about the benefits of learning it. What are your thoughts on this?

    Well I’m going to go get bundled up and prepare for snowmagedon 2016, but stay warm friends!

    TGIF…Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

    Thank goodness it’s Friday! Have you ever had a week that wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t really the best week you’ve ever had? Yeah? I’m so glad that it isn’t just me! At times this week, I kept longing for Friday. Now that it’s here, I’m almost giddy.

    This Friday giddy feeling reminds me of elementary school and being excited to play with friends and watch TGIF that night. Oh the good ol’ days of having it easy and being a kid! Speaking of TGIF, who else is excited about Fuller House? Have you seen the trailer for it  yet?

    Now that I’m an adult, I don’t get to look forward to TGIF each week, but I do get to look forward to my little indulgence shows (a.k.a. the ones the husband doesn’t want to watch with me). One such show for me is Fixer Upper. I love it because it great, but Chip and Joanna Gaines are just adorable. Have you seen this post about them, Waco and life  before the show? They are seriously the cutest!

    I have seen multiples posts this week about the benefits of cloth diapering.  My favotie diaper covers, Thirsties’  , shared this on their twitter feed yesterday that featured my favorite pattern (owls!). I guess I’m not the only one that thinks choosing close isn’t such a bad idea.

    I’m not sure if I want to put stickers on my phone, but if I was going to do it, it would definitely be with these home button stickers. Are they not fantastic? I’d definitely want the winky face on my phone!


    I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Let’s make next week a great one!


    It’s The New Year Already?!

    How did 2015 come and go so fast? Here’s hoping that in 2016 I can live a little healthier (exercise more at all and eat even better). I’m not one to make New Years resolutions, because I never manage to keep them and end up disappointed. I do like having a word or phrase that guides and inspires me through the year. I’ll share next week about what it was for 2015, and how it went for me. In the meantime, here are some things from the Internet to fill your time as you relax this new day of the new year.

    Thank you worldwide web  for the entertainment you provide throughout the pastyear. Merci for these highlights from 2015!

    As a parents I’m sure we would all like a way to help our family bemore efficient   in getting out the door in the morning. But let’s be real, someone is always to blame for slowing us down in getting out the door. May be these notes will help.

    Are you feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burnt out from social media? Give these tips a try in 2016? I definitely want to do more of the first tip this year, because old fashioned isn’t always a bad thing!

    How many of these songs from 2015 do you know can’t get out of your head?

    Happy New Year everyone!!! Thank you for reading HebrewDawn in 2015, and I look forward to seeing where 2016 takes us!