Passing on The Holy Spirit

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

2023 Blog #13

March 27, 2023

Passing on The Holy Spirit

Our area Reformed Churches had a wonderful celebration yesterday afternoon. We ordained a new Minister of Word and Sacrament and installed her as the new pastor of a church not far from mine. As part of the service of ordination, those of us who are ordained to that office place our hands upon the person being ordained. It symbolizes the passing on of the Holy Spirit to a new minister. I have never been part of a service of ordination and not felt moved by it. No, I don’t feel any electrical jolts and I certainly have not falling to the floor, but the symbolism is important and the I have always felt God’s Spirit present at such times.

I had never experienced this ritual until I myself was ordained thirty-nine years ago. I was told about it and it was described to me in seminary but hearing about it is not the same as experiencing it. When I knelt to receive the “laying on of hands” it seemed that every minister present, and all the ministers before me were in that room giving me their support in the present as well as the future. I felt the warmth of God’s presence.

To this day I still remember that feeling of God’s presence at my ordination. It is a memory that I cultivate because a minister faces circumstances that are difficult and require that memory and assurance that you really are called to minister in God’s name. Many people perceive that ministers have easy lives. Perhaps that was true in past generations when the church was popular and ministers honored but those days have long since left us. A majority of citizens do not attend church nor believe that faith is valuable. Ministers, who once were held in high esteem, for a variety of reasons, are not valued as they once were. When days are difficult, we who are ordained must rely on intangible feeling of Christ’s presence and the memory of the support that we received at our ordinations.

I pray the best for the new Reformed Church minister, Rev. Arlene Lillian Romaine, as she begins her ministry at English Neighborhood Reformed Church. I pray that she will have few frustrating days and that she will not despair during difficult periods of ministry. I pray that the feeling she had during the “laying on of hands” will never leave her and will be a strength for her during spiritually dry times. I pray that God will always be with her, guiding her steps that she may not stray from her calling.

Arlene is called. She is ordained. The Spirit is upon her. May her ministry bear much fruit. God bless you, Rev. Arlene Lillian Romaine.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #PastorMarkAuthor            

#BergenCounty                                                        #BergenfieldNJ

#EngishNeighborhoodReformed Church             #RevArleneromaine

#LayingonofHands                                                   #HolySpirit

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please look at his website:

Published by pastormarkauthor

I have been a Reformed Church in America pastor and Christian Author since 1984. In addition I am certified Crisis Counselor, certified Disaster Chaplain and have two units of Clinical Pastoral Education.

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