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Various Ceremonies - Pagan and Other

The Ordination to The Gospel Ministry of

Charlie Woods, Jr.

 

The Reverend Edward E. Campbell - Pastor

The Reverend David I. Moshier, D.D., S.T.D. - Moderator

 

 

 

Prelude Musical Presentation

 

 

Introduction

 

Dr. Moshier:  My dear friends and brethren:  This is indeed the day that the Lord has made, and we have especial good reason to rejoice and be glad in it.  From the midst of his people, God places a special call upon men and women to enter into his service, placing such service ahead of any other choice in career.  To be sure, those who are called must sometimes support this calling by secular means, but no one who receives such call would dispute that life is reordered and God’s plans and desires take the highest precedence in all that we do.

 

In accordance with its Constitution and by-laws, the governing elders of Mount Calvary Community Church have examined Charlie Woods, Jr., and find him possessed of a special call to service.  This decision has been publicly announced for at least two preceding Sundays, as prescribed in the Church canon, and today the Church’s Pastor has assembled a Council of Ordination to receive Brother Woods into the Gospel Ministry.

 

It is our privilege to have been asked to serve as the Moderator of Council.  With me here are (the council is here introduced and names are elsewhere indicated in the Ordination documents).

 

May we pray:

 

O Lord our God, who hast founded Thy Church upon earth, and hast promised to abide with it for ever:  Enlighten and sanctify it , we beseech Thee, by Thy Holy Spirit.

 

We pray for all ministers of Thy Word and sacraments, that Thou wouldst increase in them Thy grace, that with joy and assurance they may guard and feed Thy flock, looking to the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls; even Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen[1]

 

The Examination

 

Charlie, will you come forward at this time?

 

Dr. Moshier:  Do you believe in One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and do you confess anew the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, and acknowledge Him Head over all things to the Church, which is His body?

 

Mr. Woods:  I do so believe.

 

Dr. Moshier:  Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice?

 

Mr. Woods:  I do so believe.

 

Dr. Moshier:  Do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?

 

Mr. Woods:  I do.

 

Dr. Moshier:  Have you been induced, as far as you know your own heart, to seek the office of the Holy Ministry from love of God and a sincere desire to promote His glory in the Gospel of His Son?

 

Mr. Woods:  I have been thus induced.

 

Dr. Moshier:  Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the Gospel and the purity and peace of the Church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account?

 

Mr. Woods:  I do so promise.

 

Dr. Moshier:  Do you engage to be faithful and diligent in the exercise of all your duties as a Christian and a minister of the Gospel, whether personal or relative, private or public; and to endeavor by the grace of God to adorn the profession of the Gospel in your manner of life, and to walk with exemplary piety before the flock of which God shall make you overseer?

 

Mr. Woods:  I do so engage, relying on God’s grace.[2]

Musical Selection

 

The Charge Sermon

 

Dr. Moshier:  As I said at the beginning of the service, this is a special day.  I would be surprised if any ordinand here did not at some point in this day reflect on his or her own ordination service.

 

            I am glad that Charlie has the opportunity to have this service to himself, in his home church, among his family and friends, unlike some of us, myself included, who were required to participate in a group ordination at some remote location.  For indeed all of us who are Charlie’s friends and family share, in some sense, who this man is; how he came to this point in life; and what the future holds for his ministry.  From the start, it is good that he can see the love and pride in our faces and know that, no matter what path lies ahead, we will be there, in person and in spirit, to uphold him.

 

            Some may mistakenly believe that, from this day forward, Charlie walks the path of ministry alone.  He heard the call.  The hands will be laid upon his head.  The authority is his.  On the other hand, some may mistakenly believe that they will have to walk the path for Charlie; make all the decisions for him, for they really know what is best.  Types of the latter personality is what used to lead my father to grumble after church meetings, “There’s too many chiefs and not enough indians around here.”

 

            As the wedding service reminds all married couples of their vows and responsibilities, I like to think the ordination service reminds all Christians of their vows and responsibilities.  Did you not silently answer the examination questions in your own heart and mind?

 

            God has ordained an authority, a leadership for the Church Universal because our God believes in doing things in an orderly fashion.  But every Christian has his or her responsibilities for carrying out the Gospel message under this authority.  The title, “Reverend”, does not mean “the one who holds the bag, carries all burdens, endures all things.”

 

            Today is a benchmark in Charlie’s ministry.  It is the day his “formal” ministry among God’s people begins.  It is a benchmark for every ordained minister here - reminding us what business we are to be about.  It is a benchmark for all of us - a reminder that our faith is not a spectator sport - an opportunity to recall the gifts we have and renew our commitment for their use to advance the Gospel message.

 

The Formal Charge

 

Charlie, please stand.

 

I now charge you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, the great Head of the Church, to be faithful to this your high calling.  I exhort you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you have in remembrance into how high a dignity, and to how weighty an office, you have been set apart: this is to say, to be a messenger, watchman, and steward of the Lord; to teach, and to admonish, to feed and provide for the Lord’s flock; to seek for Christ’s sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for His children who are in the midst of this evil world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever.

 

Have always, therefore, in remembrance how great a treasure is committed to your charge.  For they are the sheep of Christ which he bought with His death, and for whom He shed His blood.  The Church and congregation which you must serve is His body.  And if it shall happen that the same Church, or any member thereof, do take any hurt or hindrance by reason of your negligence, you know the greatness of the fault.  Wherefore, consider with yourself the end of the ministry toward the children of God, toward the Church, the Body of Christ; and never cease your labor, your care and diligence, until you have done all that lieth in you to bring all such as are or shall be committed to your charge unto agreement in the faith and knowledge of God.

 

Forasmuch then as your office is both of so great excellency and of so great difficulty, with great care and study you ought to apply yourself, as well to show yourself dutiful and thankful unto that Lord, who hath placed you in so high a dignity; as also to beware that you neither yourself offend nor be occasion that others offend.  Howbeit, you cannot have a mind and will thereto of yourself; for the will and ability are given of God alone:  therefore you ought, and have need, to pray earnestly for His Holy Spirit.  And seeing that you cannot by any other means compass the doing of so weighty a work, pertaining to the salvation of man, but with doctrine and exhortation taken out of the Holy Scriptures, and with a life agreeable to the same, consider how studious you ought to be in reading and learning the Scriptures, and in framing the manners both of yourself and of them that specially pertain to you, according to the rule of the same Scriptures.

 

We have good hope that you have well weighed these things long before this time; and that you have clearly determined, by God’s grace, to give yourself to this Holy Ministry, whereunto it hath pleased God to call you:  so that you will apply yourself wholly to this one thing, and draw all your cares and studies this way; and that you will continually pray to God the Father, by the mediation of our only Saviour Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy Spirit; that, by daily reading and weighing the Scriptures, you may wax riper and stronger in your ministry; and that you may so endeavor yourself, from time to time, to sanctify the lives of yourself and others, and to fashion them after the rule and doctrine of Christ, that you may be a wholesome and godly example and pattern for the people to follow.

 

We commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.[3]

 

Musical Selection

 

The Ordination

 

Dr. Moshier: (Invites the spouse and parents to stand with the Ordinand)  Let us pray.

 

Almighty God and Everlasting Father, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth by Thy wisdom, and hast from the beginning ordained for Thy Church the ministry of reconciliation, giving some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ:  Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon this thy servant, whom we, in thy name and obedience to Thy Holy Will, do now by the laying on of our hands ordain and appoint to the Office of The Holy Ministry in Thy Church, committing unto him authority to preach the Word, administer the sacraments, and to bear rule in Thy Church.  Bestow upon him the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, confirming in heaven what we do in Thy Church on earth, and owning him as a true Minister of the Gospel of Thy Son.  Like his Master, may he sanctify himself, that others may be sanctified through the truth.  Let the same mind be in him which also was in Christ Jesus.  May he quicken and nourish thy people in the faith of the Gospel.  Increase his own faith in Thee, our God.  Abiding in the fellowship of Thy Son, may his speech be full of sincerity and truth.  May he by his words and works show forth the power of the Gospel, to the saving of men and the glory of Thy Holy Name.  Grant this, O Heavenly Father, for the sake of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ; in whose name we pray:  Our Father…[4]

 

I now pronounce that Charlie Woods, Jr., has been regularly ordained to the Gospel Ministry, agreeable to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution and By-Laws of Mount Calvary Community Church of Fairfax County, Virginia, and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor, and obedience in the Lord:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:  This is an electronic age.  In my capacity as Superintendent of the General Conference of Evangelical Protestant Churches, a Congregationalist body, I further announce that the Conference Board of Trustees, meeting via computer hook-up, has accepted my motion to endorse the action taken by Mount Calvary Church and concurrently admit Charlie as an ordained minister of the Conference.

 

Musical Selection

 

Benediction

COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA           )

COUNTY OF FAIRFAX                                  ) ss:

 

I, DAVID IRWIN MOSHIER, having been duly appointed Moderator of a Council of Ordination for Charlie Woods, Jr., duly hereby certify that the preceding text is a true copy of the proceedings of said Council assembled at the call of Mount Calvary Community Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, on Sunday, January 28, 2001.  One copy of this text is provided to the Ordinand.  One copy is provided to the Secretary of The Church and becomes the official minutes of said proceeding.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                ___________________________________________

DAVID IRWIN MOSHIER

 

[1] Form and Order for The Ordination to The Holy Ministry, The Book of Common Worship.  Philadelphia:  The Board of Christian Education of The Presbyterian Church in The United States of America, 1946.

[2] Op cit.

[3] Op cit.

[4] Op cit.

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