Thursday, 23 June 2011

Something smaller and less spectacular

The following from The Methodist Church of The Philippines was given to me just as I became an ordinand some 18 years ago by the now Dean of Birmingham Cathedral The Very Revd Catherine Ogle, who was then Chaplain to BBC Radio Leeds and an associate Priest at All Hallows Leeds where I worshipped and later became Vicar. I have treasured it throughout my ordained ministry and offer it now as a prayer for all those being ordained by Methodist Conference in Southport and by Bishops in Cathedrals up and down the country in the next few weeks.

May God bless you and keep you.....

We are not ordaining you to ministry;
that happened at your baptism.
We are not ordaining you to serve the Church in committees,
activities, organisation; that is already implied in your membership.
We are not ordaining you to become involved in social issues,
in ecology, race, politics, and the search for justice and peace;
for that is laid on every Christian.

We are ordaining you
to something smaller and less spectacular;
to read and interpret those sacred stories of our community,
so that they speak a word to people today;
to remember and practice those rituals of meaning
that address people at the level where change takes place;
to foster in community, through word and sacrament,
that encounter with truth which will set people free
to minister as the Body of Christ.

We are ordaining you
to the ministry of the word and sacraments
and pastoral care.

God grant you grace not to betray but uphold it,
not to deny but to affirm it,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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