Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Monday, June 25

Ordination news

On Saturday night I prayed that there would be a ‘significant conversation’ on Sunday at church. No particular topic – just something of value.

I expected the conversation to involve me directly, during the coffee time after the service.

It turned out that the ‘sermon’ was the conversation. The Vicar wanted the service to have the theme of ‘vocation’, and so he called his two assistant ministers onto the platform and interviewed them, firstly about how they came to faith and secondly how they came to be called into ordained ministry and what procedural hoops they had to jump through. The Vicar also gave his own accounts.

Then at the end he asked all those in the church considering ordination or ‘something’ to come to the front.

At this moment I was at the back with my three year old jumping all over me asking for drinks and things. So I was not next to my wife to influence her decision. She felt that the call was definitely [Spellcheckers!!  previous edition of this post had 'deficiently', which does not convey the same meaning at all!] for her and went to the front, along with a few other people. I went too, not really for my sake because I felt I was already on the road, so to speak, but I went to ask her if she wanted me there to support her or to stay away to avoid detracting from her. She asked me to stay.

Then members of the congregation were asked to come and lay hands on those who had gone to the front. One man that I don’t know (one of those who have joined while we were away) came up behind us and put a hand on each of us. My three year old was now running loose at the front, and we hoped one of our other kids would come and get her. Our eldest did, but then came back and laid hands on both of us. The three year old continued to jump up at me like a small dog ALL of the time I was being prayed over. I don’t remember if the people with us prayed individually – I think it was just the prayer from the Vicar at the front over everyone.

• I was being prayed over about ordination
• I was next to my wife
• She was being prayed over about her own individual but linked call
• My son was laying hands on us
• He knows a lot of the history leading to this point, and was endorsing us

I found all this totally overwhelming. There is something about me that finds tears of joy flow very easily – I only have to see a group of people walking down the street with a common purpose and it sets me off. So you can imagine that the items listed above are individually strong ‘cry’ triggers for me but taken together it set off Niagara falls. Which was embarrassing, with my son watching.

In one of my earlier posts I worried about what would happen if the house swap went ahead – it didn’t seem compatible with our vision for ordination.

Now God has spoken powerfully and clearly.

House swap – no!
Ordination (for both) – yes!

(This does not rule out buying that house in the normal way in due course if we sell ours – watch this space!)

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