On Sunday, October 4, 2020, Wilshire Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas ordained Leigh Curl to the Gospel ministry.
Leigh says of her ordination service:
My ordination service was originally planned for April 19, 2020. The ordination council had given unanimous approval. The ordination certificate had already been signed. I had already written the order of worship. But then, COVID happened and it was indefinitely postponed. Once we realized there was no way it could happen in person for the foreseeable future, we pivoted and held Wilshire Baptist Church’s first ever Zoom worship service and ordination.
The service was far from how I had envisioned and dreamed, but was just as beautiful, moving, and meaningful. Instead of a sanctuary, I gathered in my living room with my fiancé and mom around my computer and watched as little squares with people’s faces popped up as they joined the Zoom call. God bent time and space as people gathered from different homes, cities, states, time zones, and even continents. Holy moments are just as holy over a Zoom call. The Spirit brought us all together and the ground of my living room never felt more holy.
Advice for those preparing for their ordination councils:
Be yourself. Be the minister God has called you to be. Be the person God has created you to be. You should be your truest self in your ordination council. YOU are seeking ordination. God has called YOU. Don’t feel like you need to fit into a certain role or personality to receive approval. Be who you are and who God has called you to be and you will be just fine.
Advice for those planning an ordination service:
Have fun planning it! I had so much fun planning my service. I loved getting to pick all the elements I wanted and the hymns and Scriptures that were most meaningful to me. What was most meaningful however, was the people who were a part of the service. Pick the people you love most in the world, the people who have had some of the biggest impacts in your life, and ask them to be a part of the service.
If you are planning a Zoom service:
-have someone other than yourself be the host of the meeting so they can record the service (also have them designate a co-host so that person can also record. This way there will be two recordings in case anything goes wrong in one of them).
-have someone give words of welcome that set the tone while also giving instructions for people to stay muted during the service
-for laying on of hands, have someone lead this portion. This person can call on individuals who want to offer blessing aloud and can give instructions to those who want to chat their blessing (the host will receive a transcript of these and can send them to you after the service so you can have them).