One of the interesting things about being in the Vineyard is how laid back everything is. One of the contentions with the term ordination is that it implies a lifelong ministry that travels with the person rather than what we want which is leadership called out of a congregation and recognized by the congregation. But in order to get your license to marry easily, in Ontario at least, the easiest way is to "ordain" the minister and then send in the government paperwork. So today I was ordained. Here is the liturgy.
We arrived in Sarnia to meet with George, who is our sending Pastor as well as the Pastoral Governing Official for Vineyard in Ontario. George ordered the ribs, I followed suit, but with the honey garlic sauce reserved for the not yet ordained. An envelope was handed to me containing the government forms. George solemnly says, "oh let me see that for a minute." Then realizing I needed the ordination certificate we finish the formal liturgy of chowing down and proceed to his place.
At Georges house a baby had just been born - congrats Lynette! Still tasting the pre-ordained honey garlic ribs George fired up the laser printer and spits out two copies of my certificate of ordination! It reads: This certifies that The Reverend Frank Emanuel Was ordained as a pastor of the association of Vineyard Churches Ontario Region on the 6th day of May, 2007. It is retroactive even! Then we followed the ancient ceremony of finding an envelope for said certificate. A done deal.
Actually in all seriousness ordination is a formality. What we take seriously is what we call releasing. That happens in two stages: so you feel led to start a church, go for it. In our case George and Janet Esser took us on as our mentors and sending church, they beleived in us which was and is awesome! Then when we had a chance to do something formal George and Janet laid hands on us to release us into the leadership of Freedom Vineyard. No fancy liturgy, but it sure did feel good and right. For me that was the ordination that we needed. But unfortunately the governement wanted a bit more - hence the certificate today. Gonna put it up on my wall though.
Personally I think George should have given me a purple collar to wear, what do you think?