by Kathy Randall Bryant
It has been a long road full of meetings, papers, interviews, tears, phone calls, snowy roads, worship services, sermons, bible studies, projects, grammar checks, edits, and late nights. And that has just been in our house. Twenty-eight candidates were ordained Saturday night into full connection with the Western North Carolina Conference and so there were twenty-eight different journeys gathered together and celebrated in worship that night.
My friends and colleagues arrived at the altar in various ways, but each of them knelt and received the gift of a host of bishops and mentors laying hands upon them and affirming their call to life-long ministry. We celebrate the Holy Spirit calling them and going with them as they enter life set apart as they continue in their ministry.
Twenty-eight journeys came together in one story Saturday night, June 20, 2015. Twenty-eight individuals were ushered into the apostolic line, challenged to serve the church, and called to proclaim the faith. May God grant them strength, perseverance, and wisdom as they respond to late night emergencies and moments of grace.
I watched my father lay his hands on my husband as he was ordained, knowing that the work can be long and hard, trusting that God will go with us as we continue on this amazing journey of ministry. Lord willing, I will kneel at that same place in a couple of years, as I continue to respond to the call of God to ordained ministry.
As Christians, we are baptized and called to enter the work of God. Christ commissioned us to go out and make disciples of all the world. As ordained ministers, our elders and deacons are called to partner with the church to seek justice, peace, and freedom for all people. May God indeed give each of them the grace to do this dangerous good work before them.
Kathy is the pastor at Matton’s Grove-Richfield and will be moving in July to Williamson’s Chapel as an associate pastor.