Bishop White Offers Advice to Newly Ordained
Work like heaven. Learn when to let go and let God. Enjoy the Ride!
Those words of advice were given by retired Bishop Woodie White to the Class of 2011 Ordinands of the IGRC.
The occasion was especially meaningful for White, who 50 years ago this month married and also was ordained as a pastor. "I made two vows that June," White said. "Til death do we part to my wonderful wife and til death do we part to The Methodist Church. What a gift and what a June it was."
Interspersing stories from his time as bishop in Illinois from 1984 to 1992, he reminded the ordinands to find joy in their work and always find time to laugh.
“Remember the laughter if nothing else,” White said, recounting an ordination service in which an ordinand had sprayed a heavy coat of hairspray on their head. After getting the sticky hair spray on his hands, White said the next ordinand for whom he had to lay his hands was a guy with a toupee. “There is a God!” White said, when he expected that the toupee would adhere to his hands but it didn't.
And then addressing the seven elders and one deacon being ordained, White said, “You are about to go on a ride that is more glorious than can be described – you have laughter and joy. We are messengers of Good News (not always happy news). But the congregation out to feel a sense of hope.”
White said that Ordination is a time where the annual conference sets aside and says something profound: “We trust you – with our money, our wife, our children and our secrets,” he said. “What joy – and they are going to pay you what you would do for free. Just remember to be one who is not afraid to laugh.”