Saturday, May 31st I was ordained an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church. I am sharing my reflections on the experience in a series of posts. This is the last of the seven.
As a person is ordained in the United Methodist Church, their Bishop lays hands on them, tells them to “take thou authority,” and prays over them. In most annual conferences it seems that there are a variety of other elders (or deacons if a deacon is being ordained) who lay hands on the ordinand at the same time.
In the weeks leading up up to North Indiana’s annual conference I was told that I could select three elders to lay hands on me in addition to Bishop Coyner, my district superintendent, and the chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry. One of the three that I chose needed to be a member of North Indiana’s Board of Ordained Ministry.
The elders that joined me on stage during my ordination last week were:
Toni Carmer, the representative from the Board. I first met Toni when she came to Garrett-Evangelical with a group from the Board to talk with folks about ministry in North Indiana. When I interviewed to be commissioned there was some weird stuff that happened and Toni was a great help and support to me through all of that.
Steve Conger who has been my senior pastor for the last three years and a mentor and friend for longer than that.
Nancy Kollhoff, my mother-in-law, and an elder in Kansas East. It was special to have her as a part of the service as family and I later reflected that it was neat to have her there as a connection to Kansas East as I prepared to transfer my membership there upon returning home.
I will always remember these other elders, the role they have played in my life, and the special role they played on the day I was ordained.