Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ministry Milestone: Ordination

Pedro answering questions on his doctrinal paper
Each year around this time, we receive a reminder than annual reports are due for our mission board. One question always asked on those reports are, "What was a highlight in your ministry this year?"  As I reflected on all that God has allowed to happen in 2012, certainly one event that stood out was Pedro's ordination this year.

Pedro and pastors at the ordination council
What is ordination and why is it important? How does it differ from commissioning, which as a couple we had already experienced? These and other questions were answered for me throughout the process of Pedro's preparation. For months prior to his ordination council, Pedro worked diligently to study the basic doctrines of our Christian faith as taught in the Bible and he prepared a paper outlining his beliefs. A special blessing God allowed was the opportunity for Pedro to study alongside our brother-in-law Mark Rubin, who was also on furlough with his family and preparing for his own ordination council. Many hours of concentration and many cups of coffee marked their daily meetings in the quiet of our basement (while homeschool took place upstairs!)

happy smiles with the family when all was said and done

Finally, November rolled around and we traveled as a family for our final trip to Michigan this year. There at our home church in Lapeer, four pastors gathered to question Pedro regarding his life and doctrine. The number of pastors at an ordination council varies - the oldest of the pastors at Pedro's council said twenty-five pastors questioned him back in the day! - and in Pedro's case, several of those invited were unable to come. However, the four pastors in attendance represented our home church (both former and present senior pastor, as well as current associate pastor) and a supporting church (pastor and close seminary friend.) Though I understand this is not always the case, I was allowed to be present during the examination along with Pedro's parents and his cousin.

Pedro with his proud parents

It was such an encouragement to watch my husband consider the questions he was asked and answer clearly and wisely. My prayer was that this would be an especially positive time for him, and the Lord certainly answered. It was very special that Pedro's parents were able to witness this as well. They have walked through a difficult valley this year and I hope they were reminded of the role they played in leading Pedro in "paths of righteousness" as a young boy and man.

prayer of dedication by home church pastors at Pedro's ordination service
On Sunday November 11th, following the council's unanimous recommendation to approve Pedro for ordination, our home church held a special evening service to formally ordain Pedro to ministry in recognition of the call of God on his life. Pastor Crabb's sermon was directed squarely at Pedro, challenging him to faithfulness in his roles as a child of God, leader of his home, minister of the Gospel. In closing we were called to the platform to receive Pedro's certificate of ordination and a lovely bouquet of flowers, and to be prayed over by our pastors. It was a precious time.

Several weeks later, having been freshly bestowed with the title of "Reverend," Pedro was thus given the privilege of actually participating on Mark's ordination council. As expected, Mark also did a phenomenal job defending his paper and his faith and it was a joy to celebrate his ordination in Delaware at our "second home" church on December 9th. The proud co-pastor of the church - who also happens to be father-in-law to both Pedro and Mark (my dad!) - made sure to order a large cake inscribed with "Congratulations, Rev. Mark & Rev. Pedro" for the fellowship time after the service.

celebrating this ministry milestone with our brother-in-law, Mark
As highlights go, this is one we will remember for a very long time. To God be all the glory! We are undeserving of His grace. What a privilege it is to serve Him.

No comments: