Called to Serve
On Sunday, 10th September 2017, Judith Blowey will be ordained Deacon in Exeter Cathedral. On Saturday, 23rd September 2017, Sue Tucker will be ordained Priest at St Andrew’s, Plymouth. Ordinations are always very moving occasions as we gather to support people as they make their commitment to the ministry of service, word and sacrament.
The ordaining Bishop invokes the Holy Spirit, lays hands on each Ordinand, and then prays:-
Over the Deacons: “Through your Spirit, heavenly Father, give these your servants grace and power to fulfil their ministry. Make them faithful to serve and constant in advancing your gospel in the world.”
And over the Priests: “Through your Spirit, heavenly Father, given these your servants grace and power to proclaim the gospel of your salvation and minister the sacraments of the new covenant.”
It is an awesome responsibility to entrust to our deacons and priests. It is an awesome responsibility to be entrusted to a ministry of service. It is an awesome responsibility to be entrusted to administer the sacraments. The most effective clergy recognise constantly that they exercise that responsibility, not in their own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through them.
Those who begin their ordained ministry during September do so, I am sure, with a strong sense of call, with a sense of expectation, a sense of wanting to serve, feelings of joy and thanksgiving, and, I expect, with a healthy feeling of trepidation. That sense of call, that vocation, needs to be nurtured throughout ministry and it is important for us to realise that we all have a role in that nurturing – to help the deacon to be a deacon, and the priest to be a priest, rather than just doing the things that a priest or deacon does.
Please pray for Judith and Sue and for all those to be ordained at this time, and pray too that their vocation may remain as fresh throughout their ministry as it is on their ordination day.
With my love and prayers