“After Ordination” – A Phase to Tend

Sep 1, 2022

The moon has moved through a full cycle since this year’s vow-taking and ordination. Our newest ministers are a month into post-ordination life. How are you doing? It’s an intense setup. You dived so deeply into what your vows invited, and simultaneously stepped over the threshold, closing the two years. What a triumph. What an ending. At the same time. This phase, newly post-ordination (or post any creative event), deserves tending. In birth terms, it’s ‘the 4th trimester’. In the ‘Cycle of Intimacy’, it’s that movement from the deep point of intimate transformation to the individuation of reflection. It’s a time where we emerge possibly quite changed, wondering what happened, and who we are.

Every ordination draws OneSpirit into an annual rite that must,  consciously and unconsciously, express what it is that OneSpirit is at that precise moment. Using a technical metaphor it’s an annual opportunity to invite, pray into, as big an ‘energetic upgrade’ as we can open to – and live it into ceremony. From a systems view, any of us can be impacted by this invocation each year. These weeks are then available to be joined into, to be leant into, if any of us in the wider body wish to: how are we doing with our vows, our ordination journey, our heart’s pulse? What does this year’s ordination ‘phase’ open us to?

This year’s ordination was a bit like building a new craft to get us in person to ‘The Corn Exchange’ in Dorchester. It’s no small feat becoming physical again, is it?!  This calls for profound welcoming of the new staff team, whether in new roles or new to OneSpirit, and deep honouring of those who were not on the raft this year. For many years Lindsay Jarrett held the ordination in the centre of her heart. In all the years that Jackie Amos Wilkinson worked in faculty and leadership roles, the same is true. In recent years, and with a particular gift for the two years that our ordination was held online, Rowan Bombadil was an alchemist! All three of these wonderful people have left us. We celebrate and honour you, we miss you, and we built off the integral imprints that your devotion left. Thank you so much!

In parallel, a whole new staff team has been born, and delivering this ordination pulled the faculty and staff into a shared ordination project, under the guidance of the Angel of Purpose. Thank you Abi, Alan, Claire, Lucy and Maddy all in new staff positions, and to Danielle for holding steady. Thank you to the fabulous faculty team as we listened to the whispers of this year’s design – Dawn, Juanna and Sheila working with me in the second-year team –  and Annie, Christopher, Sarah, Una, and Linda alongside. Thank you, trustees, elders, long-standing musician friends, first years, ministers, ROSIM, and supervisors for all that you wove in, in all sorts of valued ways. A deep bow to our ancestors, to those whose courage formed this body of work visibly and invisibly. A warm wave and acknowledgement across the oceans therefore to our founder Miranda Macpherson; to our sister school in New York – One Spirit Learning Alliance -; and to all the ground that has given and does give our current OneSpirit its life. Deep thanks.

To our new ordinands: your creativity, diversity, independence, inter-dependence, music, willingness, outrageous love humour and determination shone fiercely through all the curved balls that the conditions of the pandemic threw at you and us! We’re so glad you’re here, and we need you for OneSpirit’s evolution. Thank you for arriving. Make space for your arrival. It’s a revealing time. You might say a time of revelation. We are in it together.

~ Written by Class of 2022 Lead Tutor, Nicola Coombe

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