At Meli-Melo this Sunday, we will be celebrating the birth of the church at Pentecost (see below). The coming of the Spirit onto the rag-tag group of early disciples, facing fear and reprisal from established Religion and Empire, was a turbulent and chaotic time. Jesus their Leader was gone and they were alone. As people from many nations gathered in Jerusalem the Spirit descended with 'fire', imbuing Jesus' disciples with the courage and ability to communicate good news to all assembled. They spoke words of gospel and continued Jesus' ministry by healing the sick and building a vibrant community of faith which met in homes. Pentecost 'fire' ignited a movement that continues into our time.
How appropriate that, as we celebrate the birthday of the Christian Church at Pentecost, we also have the opportunity this Saturday to be part of the ministry celebration of Montreal & Ottawa Conference and participate in the ordination of Joëlle Leduc. She will be ordained into the ministry of preaching, sacrament and pastoral care. Her journey of many years is one of growing in faith, learning, leading worship, being an elder and a student. Much work, many joys, great challenges.
Joëlle is 'homegrown': over the years she led our breakfast club, organized our office, was our youth group leader and moved into places of youth ministry in Presbytery, Conference and with the wider United Church. When Joëlle joined us we were still Verdun and Crawford Park. Her arrival coincided with our amalgamation and mission plan. SouthWest, through transition and transformation, birthed vocation and ministry. When she is ordained Saturday there will be great shouts of joy, I anticipate your shouts being added to mine: Alléluia! Alleluia!! Alléluia!!!
The Christian Church is alive and well all around the world as a witness to a living faith; we too are followers of Jesus' way. The apostle Paul writes that while there are many members of the body there is but one Body of Christ. In another passage he says Christ is the Head of the Church.
Wherever God is leading SouthWest we have the assurance of Spirit present in our midst:
Spirit who imbues with courage to face all challenges.
Spirit who calls into ministry Joëlle, Beryl, Marco and so many more.
Spirit who helps us to be a vibrant ministry and church amid transitions and change.
Thanks be to God!
Join us Sunday May 27th at 12:30 at the Mission, 631 Melrose. All are welcome!