Thirty-nine new OneSpirit interfaith ministers were ordained at the annual ordination ceremony on 29 July 2017, bringing the number of our ministers in the UK and Ireland to around 650.
“From this extraordinary day, you have the freedom to use the title Reverend, not to elevate yourself, but to remind you of your reverence for all life,” said Jackie Amos Wilkinson, Faculty Lead, in her Welcome to the new ministers (listen to her full address on video).
Talking about the world they are stepping into as ministers, she said, “the world’s politics have changed in ways we scarcely imagined. Medicine and science are uncovering secrets that shift our understanding of the very basics of life.
“The world’s spiritual experience is manifesting in fresh and remarkable ways,” she continued, “each inviting us to new and expanded understandings of Divinity, and of what it is to be human. Add terrorism to the mix, and the fact that technology makes every disaster instantly available to us, and perhaps it is not surprising that humanity has been brought to the edge of its comfort zone.”
By way of guidance, she pointed to principles promoted by great scientists and spiritual leaders alike. “If your objective is to live a life of peace, be the peace you want to see in the world. If your objective is joy, be the joy; and if your intention is a life of love, then be the love you wish to experience in your life.
“The energies we project to each other, the way we think of each other, and the feelings we surround others with can be expressions of love, said Jackie Amos Wilkinson. “The looks we give, the tone of voice, the words we use, all of these are touches – touches that can add to the energies in the world or change them. It is our choice.
“Love is the wind that makes things happen. Existence is changed by our use of applied love.”
She concluded by quoting Victor Hugo’s phrase, that, ‘all the armies of the world cannot stop an idea whose time has come’, and reflected: “Love is not a new idea. I pray that your ministries will make love the idea whose time has come.”
The 2017 ordination ceremony marked two firsts: it was held at a new venue — the Great Hall, University of Reading; and it was made accessible by live-streaming over the internet to relatives, friends and other ministers unable to travel.