Ordination Charge to the Minister, 12/07/14

The following charge was written in honor of the ordination of Reverend David Helfer, 12/07/14

Reverend Helfer: Shema. Listen!
Listen, as if your Soul depended upon it. Because it does!

Listen, as you travel forward along this ancient sacred road,
Listen, for and to that still small voice within.
The one insisting that, above all else, you are a beloved child of God
That you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and remade, each day.

Listen for and to it, when the world’s cries of grief and outrage
Threaten to deafen you to songs of courage and creativity.
Listen for and to it, when your own weary limbs ache
Because need is great, time is fleeting, and despair epidemic.

There is a voice inside you that calls out, “be still, and know that I Am”.

If your Spirit is to flourish and your Ministry to be effective,
Any truths you speak, must echo Its ballads!
Any comfort or insight you offer must arise from Its murmurings.
Your battle-cry, if it is to bring justice, must be sourced in that sigh.

David: Shema. Listen!

I say this, because I know your ear is already well tuned
To the yearnings of a thousand and one hearts.
I say this, because Ministry is “high decibel” work.
And it is all too easy, to be drawn into false rhythms, that will wear you out.
Who and what is served then?

Listen. Be still and know. Take the time to be still. To be.

Let that directive be at the top of every to-do list, written into your very flesh.
And you will ever look upon the twists and turns of this road with glad eyes.
And your steps will mark a true path for other seekers.

Do this. Listen! And the words and deeds that follow will be righteous,
Reuniting scattered fragments of holiness.

Reverend Helfer: Shema. Listen!
Listen, as if the Soul of the world depended upon it. Because it does.

By the Reverend Stefanie Etzbach-Dale
December 7, 2014

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