On this special day when your gifts as minister are recognized and blessed by God and this congregation, I offer another blessing represented by this stole. Two years ago, at my ordination, you laid hands on me and joined a community that I carry within me everywhere I go. On that afternoon, I was presented with this stole.
This stole was given to me by Rev. Alica Kirkpatrick-Bremer, my mentor and my sister. She serves as the associate pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama. This stole came to her by way of Rev. Ginny Brown Daniel, who serves as the pastor of the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Houston, Texas.
Meg, unnumbered women called by the Holy One to the ordained ministry have worn and passed on this stole. This stole is to be received and then given away. For two years I have worn this stole and now it is time for me to pass it on. Meg, you are charged to receive and wear this stole knowing that in the Spirit there are untold women blessing and standing with you in your ministry. You may not keep this stole forever for there are untold women to follow you. You are also charged to give this stole away to another woman in ministry.
In grace, as you wear this stole, may you continue to live in God’s love for you and to live out God’s love to all people. May this stole represent for you the need to give and to receive. Hear and live these words as blessing, offered as a prayer on behalf of all God’s people…
May you love and be loved.
May you nourish and be nourished.
May you lead and be led.
May you know abundant life!
Now and forever. Amen.
Rev. Ruth Perkins Lee
Meg Olive is family support specialist at Open Door Community House, Inc., Columbus, Georgia. Ruth Perkins Lee is the minister of students at Auburn First Baptist Church, Auburn, Alabama.
Rev. Alica Kirkpatrick-Bremer wrote the original version of this letter for the ordination of Ruth Perkins Lee. Ruth updated it for Meg Olive’s ordination service.