Grace and peace to you and through you
Thursday the 1st September was the 20th anniversary of my ordination. Some would say ordained as Reverend or Minister or Priest. I prefer ordained as Gospel Story Teller.
On that day back in 1996, together with all other ordinands I was given a bible. Over the years my bible has needed replacing but what has remained is the prayer that my parents wrote to mark the day – I have cut it out and stuck it in the front of each replacement ever since.
I share the prayer with you today – praying that you make it your own…
To [your name] Beloved of God.
May the God who loves you,
Always do new things when you read,
Stirring in you again God’s dream
Of a new humanity and a mended universe.
May Jesus who called you
Hold you always with tender hands,
And even as you share his tears for the world,
May you find laughter and celebration in his company.
May the Spirit who lives in you always give you life,
Birthing in you words of healing, truth and power,
Deeds of mercy, hospitality and courage,
And the peace that none can take away.
May our great God, Creator, Son and Spirit,
Always do more for you than we can ask,
Heal more in you than we can pray,
And work more through you than any can dream.
With much love.
Thank you people of CMM for the privilege of engaging the gospel story with you,
We are not ordaining you to ministry; that happened at your baptism.
We are not ordaining you to be a caring person; you are already called to that.
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, ecology, race, politics, revolution, for that is laid upon 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 and rites of meaning that in their poetry address human beings at the level where change operates; to foster in community through word and sacrament that encounter with truth which will set men and women 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 affirm it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ordination vows from Church in Singapore