We have this ministry...all of us
By Paul Black
Those ordained elders with Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton, from left, M. Catherine Najmon, Eugene Turner, Bishop Keaton, Larry Frank, Jr. and Stephen Granadosin.
Elected as an associate member Elizabeth Reis, right, with Bishop Keaton.
Those commissioned as provisional elders with Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton, are, from left: Timothy Delaney, Krey Leesman, Nicholas Jordan, Curtis Flake, Bishop Keaton, Charles Graul, Charles Kurfman, Sarah Beth Wanck and Erin Totten.
Commissioned as provisional deacon, Nicole Ross Bishop with Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton.
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Bishop B. Michael Watson reminded those gathered for the Service of Ordination and Commissioning that all are called to be God’s ambassadors.
“Ministry is the calling of the baptized. Ministry is for us all,” Watson said.
With selected verses of II Corinthians 4 and 5, Watson explained that baptism marks the beginning of being a minister of Jesus Christ.
“Among the baptized, there are those set a part for some particular ministry,” Watson said to those ordinands and those being commissioned. “You are being called to do something remarkable and something that the world needs.”
Bishop Watson told the story of Larry Watkins, who in 1982, attached 45 weather balloons a lawn chair and rose to an altitude of over 15,000 feet (4,600 m) and floated from his point of origin in San Pedro, California, into controlled airspace near Los Angeles International Airport. His flight was widely reported.
When “Lawnchair Larry” landed and was asked why he did it, he said, “Well, you can’t just sit there.”
Watson said ministry is an invitation to adventure. “You get to do something grand and glorious and you won’t just be sitting there.”
The ultimate purpose for ministry, Watson said, was to be the answer to the prayer of Jesus “so that we may be one, reconciled to God.”
“Our broken relationships cripple our witness,” Watson said, noting that he wonders if having General Conference in the same year as presidential elections compounds the difficulty in being reconciled to God.
“With presidential elections, folks already have a heightened posture,” he said. “It is not usually a time of reconciliation and when you mix religion and politics, you get politics.”