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Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Jennifer Johnson

Address: East Egypt

I write romance novels for fun, but it isn't my “day job”. My day job is associate minister at a Presbyterian Church. My new release called The Clergy Affair was about me writing what I know. The book opens with a minister counseling a bride with cold feet – not that I've actually counseled a bride with cold feet; this is a work of fiction, after all.

As a minister I've officiated quite a few weddings. It is my privilege to have the absolute best view of the bride and groom. I've seen the teary emotion on the young woman's face as her father puts her hand in her future husband's; I've witnessed the fidgety nervousness of a groom as he awaits the walk down the aisle of his bride; I've spoken the vows of husband and wife as they repeat after me promises that, by God's mercy, will be kept unto death.

Yesterday was my most recent wedding which took place at a house I almost couldn't find. Though I had Mapquested directions, the location was so obscure I feared I wouldn't make it there in time for the scheduled ceremony. Though I cut it close, I did arrive, and I worked to radiate a calm demeanor before I knocked on the door with my robe draped over my arm and worship book in hand. Anxiety tends to be high for the wedding party and immediate family, so the last thing they need is the minister declaring she “almost didn't make it.”

The groom, best man, and I took our places. I opened my book to the ribboned page and waited. Pachobel's Canon in D began. Most every wedding I've officiated has had this piece of music. It's like an old friend to me. When I heard that familiar trumpet tune, confidence built within me, and I was ready to proclaim the promises to be made between these two young people. Within half an hour I was driving away with the signed marriage license in my possession. My last, and perhaps most important job, is to send in the signed marriage certificate to the appropriate courthouse so that the marriage is legally binding according to the state. With that done, I breathe a sigh of relief and mark the date on my calendar. In one year I can send an anniversary card and remember with fondness the small part I played in helping them become a family.


Magdalena Scott said...

How nice to send an anniversary card! I hadn't heard of a minister doing that.

You should post the idea on Yahoogroups for Pastors, if there is such a thing.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Good idea, Mags.