I think it will take a while yet to process. The day was long and moved quickly.
As I arrived at the room we were to wait in before the service in Methodist Central Hall where we were to be received into full Connexion there was someone I wasn’t expecting. A friend who I had studied alongside at Cliff College over 10 years ago – seeing Tina Crosby alone was enough to set the emotions off particularly as she was there especially to see myself and a couple of others from Cliff. (There was a theme throughout the day that involved tears flowing down my face!)
We were warned on retreat the week before that it would be a good idea to have a tissue in our pockets. I found I didn’t need it so much in the morning though I was holding them back when the whole room announced us worthy after a standing vote for us to be received into full Connexion and to be ordained later that day by the laying on of hands.
In the afternoon at St Marylebone Parish Church where the Durham WSC students I had trained with were ordained by Alison Tomlinson (past president of conference). I found this far more emotional and was dismayed with myself that having not really used my tissue in the morning I had put it back in my bag which I had given to Charlotte!
As I looked around the room as we lined up at the front I saw so many familiar faces of others we had trained with, family and friends. My biggest mistake was looking directly into the eyes of my assisting minister Rachel Parkinson as the ordination responses took place. Rachel had been my minister at the time I started down this road when I decided finally to start local preacher training.
Hearing those words ‘they are worthy’ and more importantly the words ‘we will uphold them’, not only did I feel the love of the community of Christ but a great sense of peace even though I know tears where streaming down my face. I was ready to crumble and that was before the laying on of hands…
It was an amazing moment that will stay with me the rest of my life, just like the wonderful sermon preached by David Wilkinson – it was very funny and meaningful.
Afterwards I met as many as I could who came, Tim I spoke to briefly during the peace as he needed to be away before the end. It was good to see Meagan and Zahyra in the distance as well.
It really was a day for catching up particularly with people from Cliff, a large number who since I last saw them have become ministers. It was particularly lovely to catch up with Andy and Sarah Day, we met afterwards and had a lot of catching up to do.
P.s. I have used a few pictures by people I know in this post from Facebook.