On Jun 11th Camille and I were in Brentwood, Tennessee for the evening session of the Tennessee Annual Conference. That was the evening of their Commissioning and Ordination worship service. The service was a little different from ours in that they included the Local Pastors who were receiving their License to Preach for the first time and that they did not distinguish Deacons from Elders who were being commissioned.
There are two major steps to being ordained in the United Methodist Church. The first is Commissioning which begins a minimum of two years during which the candidates go through a supervised residency program. The final step is ordination as a Deacon or an Elder. Deacons are usually specialized in ministry and may work outside a local congregation. Elders primarily serve churches and itinerate (move from place to place) at the discretion of the Bishop.
Jessica Bridges, the daughter of Tom and Lizann Bridges grew up in this congregation and we helped her with her educational expenses. About two years ago she transferred her candidacy to the Tennessee Annual Conference. She was commissioned on the Deacon track this year at the conference. No less than three Bishops participated in the service: the current bishop and two retired bishops from Tennessee.
We carried greetings from all of you to Jessica and she asked us to thank you again for your prayers and support of her through the years. Her residency will be in Georgia where she is working in a home that is in ministry to mentally challenged adults. If you want to drop her a note, her address is:
305 Mead Road
Decatur, GA 30030
See you Sunday in the place where it is a joy to worship God!
Yours in Christ,