2015 Annual Conference Worship
Commissioning and Ordination Service
Tuesday night we celebrated the service of commissioning and ordination. Through our worship we rejoiced in the connectional community in which we share as believers in Christ and welcomed new brothers and sisters into the clergy covenant. Bishop Hopkins extended a joyful welcome to Bishops Gregory V Palmer of West Ohio and L. Jonathon Holston of South Carolina.
We began by processing together, singing together, remembering our baptisms together, praying together and together affirming our new clergy candidates. In following with our theme of covenantal community, Bishop L. Jonathon Holston called us back to a focus on living into God's love. His message, inspired by Romans 12:9-21, challenged us "not to be so heavenly bound that we are no earthly good." Bishop Holston reminds us that we are called to be a light of compassion and hope in the darkness of a world hungry for grace. For when we do that, we are a witness that love, having everything to do with everything, always overcomes hatred.
With that word to encourage them, our ordinands affirmed their commitment to live a ministry founded upon God's love. Having been ordained surrounded by a community of bishops, clergy, sponsors, family and friends, our ordination class returned to be welcomed into covenantal community by a chorus of fellow clergy.
Bishop Hopkins concluded our service with the invitation for any who are discerning the Spirit's calling to come forward and be in prayerful conversation with our pastors. With the call always before us to be the community of Christ in ministry together, two of our newly ordained clergy led us in our closing blessing.
After the benediction, the auditorium sounded with the postlude music, which continued in the sweeter sounds of people sharing greeting and fellowship together as we celebrated this joyful night! We are glad to welcome 12 who are commissioned as elders, 2 who are ordained as deacons and 11 who are ordained as elders.
Janelle Kurtz is pastor of Brimfield Faith UMC, Canal District