November 3, 2013
This Sunday, November 3rd, the Ordination of Jared Matthew Hamilton will take place in our church sanctuary at 3:00 p.m. There will be a procession of clergy from our immediate area and from Jared’s new community in Hinesburg, Vermont, all dressed in their robes, wearing red stoles for this sacramental rite.
Ordination goes back to our Jewish heritage (during the service we will be reading from Numbers 27:12-23, which speaks of the ordination of Joshua). The transfer of power takes place in two steps with Joshua: 1) the transfer of the Mosaic spirit, and 2) the charismatic (personal gifts, which are non-priestly). The two step process recognizes two gifts, two roles are being confirmed.
In the Hebraic language word for rabbinical ordination is translated “lerabanim”, which is derived from the word which means “to rely on”, as well as, “to be authorized”. It means that the Essex Association of the United Church of Christ and the First Parish Church, Congregational, U.C.C. validate that Jared Hamilton is someone people can look to and rely on to help with their spiritual needs and spiritual journey.
When someone is “ordained” (from the Latin, “ordinare” in latter times) it means they are worthy of respect because they have brought together and arranged the separate elements of their life to align with God’s purposes and presence in this life. This Sunday, our church and our Association, will authorize Jared, for having spent 4 years bringing that order to his life.
The Ordination Rite will culminate with all ordained clergy coming forward to place their hands on Jared; then deacons of First Parish Church and the United Church of Hinesburg will come forward to touch the clergy; and finally, the deacons will extend their hands back to the congregation, person to person, pew to pew, so that everyone participates in this holy rite and blessing.
It will be a visual metaphor of how we have all been part of Jared’s preparation for, discernment of, and validation by ordination. It is also the metaphor, by our being linked together at the moment of the ordination prayer, that says Jared is “in touch” with an entire community of faith which says that anyone who comes in contact with Jared (those ‘in touch’ with him) will reliably find the presence of God.
Please be available for this most wonderful, sacramental moment, if you are able.