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Ordinands urged: 'Stay in love with God'

Ordinands urged: 'Stay in love with God'

Ordination audience at Youkey Theater
Ordinands and local pastors to be licensed are supported by well-wishers at the Annual Conference 2013 Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination. Photos by Dave Walter.

LAKELAND – The Florida Conference affirmed 30 clergy members on the newest leg of their faith journey Friday with a Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination.

Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, led the service, suggesting that ordinands draw on the founder of Methodism when they look for a minister to model themselves after.

“What Would Wesley Do?” was the title of the sermon she delivered to an audience of aspiring ministers, friends and loved ones in the Youkey Theater at The Lakeland Center.

Cape gave a four-point summary to those assembled:  Pray, study, be a great preacher and grow up. She then elaborated on this advice, which she tied to Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, his education and experience. 

Audience response at ordination
Onlookers respond to the ordination worship service at Annual Conference 2013 in Youkey Theater.

“Have a regular spiritual discipline, spending time in the Word every day,” Cape advised.

“Open a space for the Holy Spirit because this is our internal hospitality to God, and then we can offer hospitality to others," she said. "You can’t give what you don’t have.”

“Practice prayer as regularly as you breathe,” she said, adding that her constant prayers keep her close to Christ. 

“Wesley would tell you to learn all you can, and study and support education,” she said.“Wesley supported radical social action and knew that education gives people hope.” 

She suggested that if every Methodist went to a local elementary school and read to the kindergarten class, principals and teachers would see that “Methodists give a damn." 

Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, GBHEM
Above, Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, GBHEM general secretary, preaches at the Annual Conference 2013 ordination service. Below, Bishop Ken Carter with Lay Leader Russ Graves and Terri Hill, Ordained Ministry chair, behind him, prepares to receive those recommended for ministry.

“Wesley would say, 'Be a great preacher. Preach like Paul.' ... So work on your preaching,” she urged.  “Do Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie [classes] to get better. … Christ said, ‘Feed my sheep, not put them to sleep.’”

Cape directed the audience to a short video that showed the many varied needs that ministers may be called upon to address and help:  addiction, abuse, financial ruin, rejected and abandoned people, depression, handicaps, broken marriages and more. 

To work successfully with these problems, it’s important to stay connected, to the connection and to your peers, she said.  She urged the laity to “help your pastor succeed.”

“Wesley would say, ‘Grow up,’” Cape said. “Yes, you are called, and yes, you are special, but there’s obedience to be reckoned with.  Go where you are sent.  There is a sacramental authority to those over us.”

Finally, she said, “Remember Wesley’s advice to do no harm, do all the good you can and stay in love with God.”

The night’s offering was earmarked for the Ministerial Education Endowment.

Licensed as local pastors were Amos Adhemar, Raphael Alexander Camilo, Rodolfo Casasayas, Jetro Jeune, Robert Anthony Rose, Aaron Michael Rousseau and Brian Sanderson.

Elaine Chapman Thomas was commissioned as a provisional deacon.

The following are names of those commissioned as provisional elders:

• Jimmy T. Bardin,
• Daniel L. Bennett,
• Lisa H. Carboni ,
• Debbie Daley-Salinger,
• Ryan W. Delaune,
• James A. Divine,
• Ryan F. Frack,
• Susan M. Hart, 
• Juana R. Jordan,
• Emily Jones Knight,
• Esther Rodriguez,
• Donald R. Thompson Jr.

Kathy Lynn Nolasco was ordained as a deacon.

The following were ordained as elders:

• Sarah R. Campbell,
• Andrew P. Dancey,
• Jaime A. Faberlle,
• Edward A. Kellum,
• Nancy R. Mayeux,
• Audrey B. Warren.

Recommended for transfer from another denomination and whose orders were recognized were Charles Mullens Constant and Danilo Quevedo.

-- Anne Dukes is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.