What does it mean to be received into Full Connexion and Ordained?

Stole made by my mother in law with a little help from one of my friends. 

The Methodist Worship Book says…

All Christians are called through their Baptism and by the hearing of God’s word to ministry and service among the whole people of God and in the life of the world. Some are called and ordained to specific ministries. The Methodist Church has received and transmitted two orders of ministry, the presbyteral and the diaconal.  

Presbyters, usually called Ministers, derive their origin from the presbyter/bishops of New Testament times. The development of the form in which the Methodist Church has received this office was influenced by the vocation and work of John and Charles Wesley, who were themselves presbyters in the Church of England. As the work of God progressed among the Methodist people, some of the preachers who were not already presbyters in the Church of England were ordained to celebrate the sacraments, to preach the word and to care for God’s people.

More recently, the Methodist Diaconal Order has developed from the Wesley Deaconess Order into an order of ministry for both women and men. Deacons are ordained to a ministry of service and pastoral care and seek to equip God’s people for service in the world. In the Methodist Church, diaconal ministry is an office in its own right rather than a step toward the office of presbyter. For both presbyters and deacons, ordination is to a permanent lifelong office of ministry.

At all Methodist ordinations, the President of the Conference or the President’s deputy presides. Ordination is by prayer and the laying on of hands and takes place within the context of Holy Communion. The ordination prayer (no. 16 in each service) is in three parts. The first and third parts are said only once, but the second part, which accompanies the laying on of hands, is repeated for each ordinand, as God is asked to send the Holy Spirit upon the ordinand for the office and work of a presbyter or deacon. 

In common with other churches, in the ordination of presbyters and deacons, the Methodist Church intends to ordain, not to a denomination, but to the presbyterate and the diaconate in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It looks for the day when, in communion with the whole Church, such ministries are recognized and exercised in common.

Being received into Full Connexion is an amazing moment when all those present give a standing vote for all those brought to conference to be ordained. People from all around the country, those elected and those there purely to support the ordinands, and world wide Methodist church stand together to affirm their call by God which the church has recognised and tested over time. That inclusion and affirmation into the ministry of the church is quite mindblowing.

There wasn’t much time between the morning service at Methodist Central Hall and needing to get to St Marylebone Parish Church where myself and those who I trained with were going to be ordained.

In both services we are asked to declare our commitment to this ministry. At the ordination service we are asked…

I now ask you to declare your lifelong commitment to this ministry:

Do you believe that God has called you to be a Minister of the Word and Sacraments in the universal Church?

Answer: I do.

Do you accept the Holy Scriptures as revealing all things necessary for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord?

Answer: I do.

Do you believe the doctrines of the Christian faith as this Church has received them?

Answer: I do.

Will you accept our discipline, and work together with your sisters and brothers in the Church?

Answer: I will.

Will you be faithful in worship, in prayer, in the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and in those studies which will equip you for your ministry?

Answer: I will.

May God who has called you to this ministry give you grace and power to do his will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

When you read these commitments, they can weigh quiet heavily. It makes me wonder just how important a move it is to those in the pews from being a probationer to an ordained minister? Do they realise just how momentous the occasion to the person being ordained?

Most ordinands are given gifts to mark this occasion in their journey with God. These may come from the circuit they serve in, from their individual churches, from family, friends. I’m going to share a few which have significance in marking those parts of my daily worshipping life that I am called and committed to – these will continue to remind me of the commitment I made on the 3rd of July 2016.

To be a minister of the word and sacraments in the universal church – acceptance of Holy Scripture of salvation through Christ. When we are ordained as Presbyter we receive a bible and inside it states when we were ordained, my Anglican friends find it strange that that really is the only written proof we receive that says this has happened!

My bible. 

Believe in the doctrines of the Christian faith and church.

Jesus is the light in the worlds darkness and despair. 

Faithful in worship, prayer, and in the reading of Holy Scripture.

A beautiful bowl from my assisting minister Rachel Parkinson. Perfect for Baptisms

Prie Dieu from Charlotte Truman. My commitment to a life of prayer. 

I look forward to getting back from conference as I know there are more items to mark this point in my journey, one may get added to this at a later date!

About localpreacherforkliftdriver

I am a Methodist Minister taking up a new appointment in the North Cheshire Circuit, September 2019, with pasoral charge of Tarvin, Kelsall, Rowton, Christleton, Mickle Trafford, Oakmere & Bunburry with Tiverton churches. Views are my own.
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2 Responses to What does it mean to be received into Full Connexion and Ordained?

  1. Richard Muzira says:

    Thank you for enlightening me on some issues like being received into full connexion

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