Sunday, October 20, 2013

Remembering Michael Allen and the Parelli/Ortiz Commissioning Service of 2006

By Rev. Stephen Parelli
Bronx, New York
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Written in Memory of Rev. J. C. Michael Allen (1927-2013)
Other Sheep board member, 2002 – 2011  

Michael Allen
Our commissioning to the work of Other Sheep occurred about seven months after we had been called by the board to work as staff volunteers for Other Sheep as Executive Director (me, full time) and as Coordinator for Africa and Asia (Jose my significant other, part time).  At what point in time the commissioning service had been planned, I don’t recall.  What I do remember is my feeling a bit strange about the whole idea of a commissioning service, especially sense so much of my thoughts on God was still in flux.

For the board, and for Michael Allen, this commissioning service was of great importance to each of them, so I observed.  I could sense their faith in my call and their faith in the mission of Other Sheep.

I had told the board at my interview for the job that I was never more certain of God’s call on my life than I was in accepting the position of Executive Director of Other Sheep.  That much I knew, but not much more.  I felt certain I had been somehow fitted for this task at this time, and with Jose as my significant other who shared my excitement, calling and gifts – well, Jose and I were ready to go. If nothing else, we had each other.  But this commissioning service . . . well . . . I had to somehow manage my doubtful feelings about its earth-while significance because of my own theological misgivings.

Those attending from the Other Sheep board and J. C. Michael Allen who gave the commissioning charge – there was something special about these folk from Missouri.

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