Friday, October 21, 2011

For all of us who minister to God's people

I was away at our diocesan clergy conference and retreat for most of this week. One of the many gifts we received was a reading and charge from our retreat master, the Bishop of Liverpool. It comes from "Liturgy of Life."

"We are not ordaining you to ministry; that happened at your baptism.

We are not ordaining you to be a caring person; you are already called to do that.

We are not ordaining you to serve the church in committees, activities, organisation; that is already implied in your membership.

We are not ordaining you to become involved in social issues, race, politics, revolution, for that is laid upon every Christian.

We are ordaining you to something smaller and less spectacular:

  • to read and interpret those sacred stories of our community so that they speak a word to people today;
  • to remember and practise those rituals and rites of meaning that in their poetry address humanity at the level where change operates;
  • to foster in community through word and sacrament that encounter with truth which will set men and women free to minister as the body of Christ.

We are ordaining you to the ministry of the word and sacraments and pastoral care.

God grant you the grace not to betray it but uphold it.

Not to deny it, but affirm it through Jesus Christ our Lord."

----Liturgy of Life

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