Over the last few weeks I have Facebook posted a bevy of ordination announcements, dates, photos and congratulations which got me wondering what ordination is all about so I went on a fact finding mission.
Fact #1: I have been to an ordination.
My brother-in-law Darrin Lindsay was ordained last year and I remember thinking it felt like a combination of graduation, ceremony and celebration all rolled into one
Fact #2: Susan DePlanche from the FMCiC Personnel Office knows a lot of stuff.
One tidbit she shared was that the recent ordinations of Dyan Mouland, Tim Richards and Darryl Dozlaw were the first in the west since 2006 and the upcoming ordination of Philippe Reichenbach will be the first in Quebec since 2007.
Fact #3: There is an impressive amount of information on the FMCiC website regarding ordination.
See for yourself by clicking here.
Fact #4: Ordination is more than jumping through hoops.
From his article, “What is the Meaning of Ordination?” Bishop Emeritus Donald N. Bastian had this to say concerning ordination, “the word “ordinand” is related to the word “order.” It has to do with how the church orders its life and particularly its leadership. It suggests that a person is set aside in the church for holy office. Ordination, however, is not just an event; it is a process…Men and women can get value from reflecting on the ordaining process. It is more than simply a series of frivolous exercises like “jumping through hoops.” It is a serious effort, bathed in prayer on the part of all participants, to find, direct, guide and certify those persons upon whom God has placed his call to ordained ministry.”
Fact #5: In Titus 1:5-9, the Apostle Paul lists 17 qualities that Titus was to look for in the lives of people who would give spiritual leadership in the church.
In his ordination sermon, “The Life and Character of an Ordained Minister”, Bishop Keith Elford groups these 17 qualities into 4 main ideas and gets right to the heart of the matter:
1 – Ordained Ministers must be people who have proven that they can lead at home, and not only lead, but lead well spiritually.
2 – Ordained Ministers must be people who are mature and have the impulses of their lives under control…
3 – Ordained Ministers must be worthy of respect because of who they are.
4 – Ordained Ministers must treasure God’s Word.
Fact #6: Ordination is life changing – and not!
In an interview with Rev. Dennis Camplin, “The Meaning of Ordination”, he states, “Ordination changes a person profoundly and also not at all. After ordination your pastor will not look different and hopefully will not sound different. But within the core of his/her being he/she will move forward in the confidence that affirmation from the church and obligation to the church gives. He/she will experience the mystery of the human and the divine working together in the Church as the Spirit prepares him/her to be the body of Christ in the world today and to be presented as the Bride of Christ in the world to come.”
Fact #7: I’m out of facts.
But I do have a better understanding of the process of ordination and its importance to the individual and the church.