Last night I was at regular commenter Crabbit Besom’s ordination service. Apart from some slightly odd hymn-tune choices (nothing to do with CB), it was a great evening and one I was very pleased to attend.

I’ve been to only a few ordination and induction services and the last one (if I remember correctly) was a few years ago. This one was particularly notable because it was of someone who is more a ‘contemporary’ than the others. CB and I were at assessment conference together, but that was the one I didn’t get through and was obliged to go round the loop again.

But being at CB’s ordination last night was a reminder that it won’t be too long before I go through the same process. There was, in a sense, a ‘reality check’ to being at the ordination of someone not too far ahead in the timetable, as it were. It’s a little bit like heading up an escalator. SO long as there are plenty of people in front of you, then it’s a long way from needing to take that step on your own. When the people just in front of you are beginning to step off the escalator, then you realise it’s just a matter of a short time before you have to do so too.

What was encouraging though from last night was the warm welcome CB received and the sense of promised ongoing support. That makes the step off the escalator somewhat less daunting. More than that though is the greater sense that that support is not just from ‘bruckle pigs’ (you needed to be there) but from God. This milestone is, after all, the response to a call from God and that too was made clear last night.

So, every blessing to CB for the next exciting chapter.


6 responses to “Milestones”

  1. Yep, this end of this part of the journey is approaching. Watching and reading of peoples’ ordinations when I remember Candidates’ Conferences with them, makes me realise that it’s not that long ’til hopefully it’ll be me standing there, and going into a new phase of ministry. But I guess that has been the point of the last few years…

  2. It was a great boost to see you last night!

    The hymn tunes were a bit odd (except for the last one which was my choice), but I think they worked given the congregation and their varied worship experience. Apart from that, what has struck me most forcibly is that while we are candidates we are very busy “doing” all the things were are required to do as candidates and then suddenly it stops. There is a hiatus until ordination etc. This was very disorientating because suddenly the support structures you take for granted are no longer there – you are on your own. Friends etc are still there, but the formal support has gone. I hadn’t realised how much I relied on i. You know it’s coming and you try to prepare for it, but the reality is something that is difficult to prepare for fully. It must be very difficult for someone who does not have a new charge on the horizon, and so cannot see the future. Then, you have stepped off the escalator, but there is nothing there but a void.

    It was very encouraging to see such large numbers of my old congregations there, as well as my new church family. I think it did them good to see how much support I had from other congregations – it would give them a lift. After all they too are entering a new phase in their church life. Such an event not only affirms the ordinand but affirms the receiving congregation as well – very important in our society today which is becoming increasingly fragmented and individual.

    And so begins a new stage of this journey!

  3. These milestones serve as warnings, as you have lready spotted John. The safety nets disappear big time when the ordination happens and you realise that now you are the minister for real. It is always a sobering thought, but one that you seem to be preparing for very well. I look forward to your milestone !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *