I woke up on Sunday morning a priest! How weird does that sound!
The whole experience is still pretty strange to get my head around.
I guess the best thing I can say is that I am still taking it all in.
It’s the end of a very long journey, and the start, I guess, of a new journey or at least a new direction of my journey altogether.
I said earlier to someone that I feel like everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed. That sounds strange but in some way makes an odd kind of sense to me.
The weekend has been amazing: ordination, followed by presiding at the Eucharist has been quite an emotional experience. As the service progressed I was struck by an increasing sense of privilege that it is to preside and be able to serve people in this way. It was special to be able to share in this special meal with many friends and family. It was not until I got home and was nearly asleep that I realised that in all the emotion of the moment that I forgot to take the bread and wine myself – clearly I need to remember that one in the future!
I felt Bishop Brian did an excellent job and both his charge to us on Friday evening and his sermon at the ordination really hit me. In his talk on Friday he reminded us that we are to delight in God. A delight in God should mark my ministry and so be distinct from the world around.
He also spoke a little about mission and worship being totally interconnected. As I listened I think I focussed on what he was trying to say: some churches are imbalanced with a focus on worship style or a focus on mission. Worship should come from mission and mission should flow from worship. It’s both/and not either/or.
In the sermon Bishop Brian gave a clear instruction – we are not to be busy. We are not to be so busy that we lose sight of people. We are not to be busy so that we have no time for people. We need to be with people. This is one thing that was aprticularly ringing in my ears as the service came to an end.
The weekend was special – thanks loads to all of you that joined me on the day, some traveling great distances, and to an even bigger number of you who have been part of this amazing journey over the last few years. Thank you for your patience with my ability to frustrate, your love when I was downhearted, your encouragement when close to giving up, and your friendship which has meant an immense amount to me.
God bless you all.