Sunday, 22 June 2014

Celebrating the 40th anniverary of the ordination of women

What a great day it was!
The sun was shining as people arrived at Wesley's Chapel for the service of celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women to the presbyterate in the Methodist Church. Its a bit of a mouthful but it is important to be accurate. Presbyters are Ministers and so are deacons but this anniversary is one for presbyters.

It was in Bristol in the Conference of 1974 that the first 17 women were ordained as presbyters. Three of them were with us for the celebration and they presented a bible to the Methodist Conference that will be used in our worship.
Receiving the Bible from Revs Jennifer Lunn, Marjorie Hopp and Elizabeth Hodgkiss

Others who had been ordained that year but were not able to be present sent their greetings. Among them was Rev Irene Morrow who is now living in Ireland, she sent her greetings to us along with her bible.
Greetings were brought from:
The World Methodist Council - Gillian Kingston,Vice-President
The United Methodist Church - Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) - Christine Elliot
The Church of England - Revd Canon Jeremy Worthen
Women and the Church (WATCH) - Rev Emma Percy

I had the great privilege of presiding and preaching and should you wish to read my sermon (or a close approximation to it) you can find it here

Rev Michaela Youngson, who had prepared the liturgy also wrote a hymn for this occasion. The music was written by Rev Nicola Morrison and we were led by a small choir as we sang it together. the words of the chorus are:
We are worthy by your Spirit
we are worthy, by your Son,
to proclaim your gospel story,
of a world in Christ made one.
By the grace of God - we are worthy!
Rev. Siperire Mugadzaweta from the Swansea Circuit wth her husband. They travelled to London for the service.

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