This Saturday is our yearly Ordination Service at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul at 2.00pm. Fourteen people will be ordained, including Reverend James Vinod who will be ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Polynesia. So it is my great pleasure to share this year’s Ordination Service with Archbishop Winston Halapua. In our tradition we recognise three Holy Orders, Deacon, Priest and Bishop. As a Bishop, I find along with the Confirmation Services, ordination to be the most humbling and privileged role I have. To set aside people as they make the most deep and profound vows:
“Will you so live the Gospel that you challenge us
with the demands of love?”
Those who are ordained are called to be living examples – symbols of the way of Christ. They join with the Apostle Paul in saying “imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1). In a world which is over words, in a world where talk is cheap, a few humble people step forward and say like Jesus they will incarnate the way of God’s Kingdom in their lives so that God can be revealed afresh for a new generation.
“Will you seek the lost and lonely,
caring for all God’s people whatever their need?”
This vow resonates with our Diocese as we reaffirm corporately heading into 2015 our priority to the last, lost and least; that our newly ordained are called to lead us into this, to help us all live this calling in our individual and corporate life. Those ordained priest also make the following vow:
“I commit myself fully to this ministry
I will proclaim the word of God
and celebrate the sacraments of the new Covenant”
Priests remind us of the call actively to proclaim the word of God, to preach Jesus and the Kingdom of God so all might be invited to the banqueting table as represented and experienced in the sacrament of Eucharist. In ordination we set apart some of our family as visible representatives of God’s call to His Church. Those being ordained are signs for all of us, of the call we all embrace when we follow Jesus in his Church.
Finally in a Western world obsessed with instant gratification, short term thinking and numerous fads and trends, we have a group of people who make the most outrageous public vows for life. Whatever happens after Saturday these people have declared for life they will serve God and His Church in this way. This is not a vow until something better comes along – this is it for these 14 people. What a prophetic gift these 14 offer the Church to remind us all of what real faithfulness looks like.
How can fragile humans make such bold vows? In the Ordination Service the gift of God’s Holy Spirit is invoked afresh over each candidate, recognising that we do not live the way of Christ in our own strength but only through allowing God’s Spirit and His transforming and empowering work in our lives, and through the gifts of the Spirit He distributes through His Body.
As you can see Saturday is going to be an amazing day so please join us as a Church gathered. I leave you again with the names of those being ordained for you to continue to pray for:
David Atkinson – Deacon Assistant in the Parish of Levin
Sue Fordyce – Deacon Assistant in the Parish of All Saints’, Palmerston North
Andrea Lukin – Deacon in Charge in the Parish of Onslow
Sarah McMenamin – Deacon Assistant and Pioneer Minister in the Parish of Naenae-Epuni
Cheryl Repia – Deacon Assistant in the Parish of Stokes Valley
Alison Robinson – Deacon Assistant and Pioneer Minister in the Parish of Naenae-Epuni
Guy Savage – Deacon Assistant under the Responsibility of the Archdeacon for Ministry
Reverend Ben Arcus – School Chaplain at Rathkeale College, Masterton
Reverend Karl Dickson – Priest Assistant in the Parish of Wainuiomata
Reverend Brendan Drew – Priest Assistant in the Parish of Hataitai-Kilbirnie and Military Chaplain at Trentham Army Camp
Reverend Jon Hartley – Missioner for the Corporate and Not for Profit World under the Responsibility of the Vicar of Kapiti
Reverend John Merriman – Priest Assistant in the Parish of Oroua
Reverend James Vinod – Priest in the Diocese of Polynesia and Priest Assistant in the Parish of Johnsonville
Reverend Henry Yap – Priest in the Chinese Anglican Mission
The Right Reverend Justin Duckworth
Bishop of Wellington