The ministry to which I am called.
My first two posts in my new found ontological status (am I changed, I don’t know), were quite ranty I think. If I look back over my blogging thats really been my pattern, some stuff thats reflective, some thats topical, lots that ranty.
And that is a huge part of who I am.
One of the things that has been said to us all lots as we really prepare for ordination, is, it is you who is called, be yourself.
On retreat I reread the poetic ‘Irresistible Revolution’. Before my selection conference I read the book first time and put it in the post to a friend saying, whatever I do, don’t let me not live some of this. And so I read it again, praying Lord help me to live this in the established church.
Whilst on retreat, I heard that friend and prayerful co-conspirator Jo Norton had died. As a Salvation Army officer Jo’s life and work inspired me: prayer and care for the poor. Jo’s example will remain with me as I try and be me in this job. As if I needed more reminding, some of the first people I saw as I processed (!?!!) into the Cathedral, were uniformed Salvationists.
Finally (and for some strange reason I am writing this bit some 3 days later), my friend Jeff emailed me a bit out of the ordination service: another reminder of how to be me in this.. Not sure it all makes sense yet but....
“Deacons are called to work with the Bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ’s kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God’s purposes of love. They are to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the Church the needs and hopes of all the people. They are to work with their fellow members in searching out the poor and weak, the sick and lonely and those who are oppressed and powerless, reaching into the forgotten corners of the world, that the love of God may be made visible.
Deacons share in the pastoral ministry of the Church and in leading God’s people in worship. They preach the word and bring the needs of the world before the Church in intercession. They accompany those searching for faith and bring them to baptism. They assist in administering the sacraments; they distribute communion and minister to the sick and housebound.
Deacons are to seek nourishment from the Scriptures; they are to study them with God’s people, that the whole Church may be equipped to live out the gospel in the world. They are to be faithful in prayer, expectant and watchful for the signs of God’s presence, as he reveals his kingdom among us.”