By Judy Pysell
Licensed local pastors will be recognized at the Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination this morning.
Bonnie MacDonald, director of leadership formation and ministry, said, “This will be the first time in recent memory that so many in our midst are eligible to receive a license for pastoral ministry.”
Bonnie said she is particularly excited about this service of worship because it will lead us through a full cycle of celebration of how God moves in us to bring us into community, to love us, to give us gifts for serving others, helps us to grow, and then sends us out to serve.
During the worship service Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball will lead us in baptizing, licensing, commissioning, ordaining, and welcoming those who will transfer their conference membership. She also will challenge us all – lay and clergy – to serve God faithfully in the mission fields of our communities and beyond in the coming year.
Gwen Wolford of the Fellowship of Associate Members and Licensed Local Pastors is excited about this new practice of recognizing licensed local pastors. She said this is something for which she has hoped, prayed and waited.
In her 23 years as a local pastor, Gwen said she has watched and listened as questions were asked of those to be ordained and commissioned and her heart cried out for this same opportunity for local pastors to be questioned by the presiding bishop and to boldly answer to their call.
Gwen said, “Yes, I am excited and praising God for those who have made this desire and prayer come true.”