Let us be in the spirit of prayer. In this precious moment in which we set apart and ordain a woman to our ministry, we pause to give thanks for this religious community of free spirits of which we are a part. We are grateful to be members of a church which inspires us in our ongoing quest for the truth; a church that encourages us in our continuing search for better ways of living together. With humility and thanksgiving we remember the efforts of those pioneering men and women of another day who struggled and in many cases suffered for the right of freedom-loving people to seek the truth wherever it might be found. Because of what they were and what they did our lives are more complete. Remembering them may we here be rededicated to the cause of freedom with justice everywhere, to the continuing search for truth in all areas of living, and to the achievement of a more abundant life for all humanity.
We are grateful for all those who have devoted their lives to the ministry in our liberal religious faith. Their spirits come down over the years to bless this service and this minister whom we ordain today. We are grateful, too, for the thoughts and prayers of her living colleagues who will give strength and support to her life and her ministry.
Spirit of life and love, enter we pray into our hearts and lives and particularly into the life of N. as she accepts the responsibilities and obligations of ministry. May she find fulfillment of purpose as she gives of herself and her talents to the task of making this world a better place for all. May she be imbued with a spirit of compassion for those in need; a spirit of wisdom as she deals with the problems that beset her parishioners; a courageous spirit of humility as she recognizes her limitations; and above all, the spirit of love as she ministers to all sorts and conditions of people.
May this hour of dedication be but the beginning of a fruitful ministry that will bring to her, and to those closest to her, the great and abiding satisfactions that come to those who give generously of themselves in the service of others. Amen.
|Author||William E Gardner|