The hands (and smiles) of Christ's servants

May 24, 2007

Each year Bishop Beverly J. Shamana sets a priority to spend time with a group of people for which Annual Conference Session next month is very significant. These are the pastors from around the Conference who will be ordained as elders in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. “Ordaining elders is an awesome responsibility...I want to have a deeper knowledge and relationship with the pastors I ordain -- it's such a memorable and deeply spiritual event in their lives and mine too,” says Bishop Shamana.


This year’s time together included Bible study, talking about Matthew 25, focusing on where Jesus is seen in unexpected places. It also included sharing a meal…with others.


Eight ordinands and Bishop Shamana joined Conference missionary Linda Kelly at  Loaves and Fishes – an ecumenical ministry to the homeless in Sacramento. Linda Kelly directs the Side-by-Side Spiritual Companions program there.


“That day brought us face to face and hand to hand with people in various stages of poverty -- where we see Jesus in unexpected places. Being at Loaves and Fishes makes the answer real -- we see Jesus ‘in the faces of the poor.’ The experience breaks down stereotypes -- affirms our call to build relationships with people in extreme need -- and offers a chance to live out the gospel in their lives.” 


Bishop Shamana says there is much wisdom to be learned from the poor -- things we would not know about if not for being involved in the lives of those who live life on the margins.


Those who joined Bishop Shamana and Linda Kelly were: Tina Ballagh, Adrionne Beasley, William Chou, Kathryn Dunning, Ginger Foster, Julie Hallet Horne, Victoria Schlintz and Cynthia Stateman.


Their Service of Ordination will be held Saturday, June 23 at 8:00 pm at the Sacramento Convention Center.