By LOIS KINDLE
Three longtime members of All Paths to God New Thought Church accepted the call to ministry and were ordained as lay ministers Feb. 14 in a small, CDC-compliant ceremony at Holiday Inn Express in Ruskin. Members not in attendance were able to view the event on Facebook.
A dozen guests witnessed the ordination of Donna Vrzal of Ruskin and Jennifer Lutz and Sunny Hobbs of Sun City Center during a service lasting slightly more than an hour. The Rev. Sue Meixner officiated, with assistance from the Rev. Denise Madigan and All Paths to God board member Linda Bleser.
As is customary in this church, each celebrant chose a specific path on which to focus her ministry. Vrzal selected sacred service, Lutz selected teaching and Sunny chose inspiration. After receiving their official appointments from Bleser, ordination appointments from Meixner and the ordination Covenant and blessing – including their stoles – from Madigan, the new lay ministers were introduced to the attendees.
“Each has chosen her own unique path that echoes what her heart has been calling,” Madigan said. “We are proud to have been part of their journeys.
“This is a heart-filled, emotional day of recognizing Whose light we are,” she said.
Becoming a lay minister is a lengthy process, fraught with periods of doubt, many tears and lots of growth. The entire process takes three years to complete.
“Spirituality is certainly not an obligation, an opportunity, a choice to grow into all that we are,” Meixner said. “And spiritual leadership is also a choice, a very difficult one. It’s difficult to develop the confidence to become a minister. But God does not call the qualified. God qualifies the called.”
She spoke of the love and deeper level of commitment each of the aspirants was making.
Vrzal, Lutz and Hobbs gave individual comments on their journeys that were mixed with humor and sincere appreciation for each other, their teachers, the church board and the All Paths to God congregation.
“We appreciate their unwavering love, support and encouragement as we begin our ministries,” Vrzal said. “Serving God through service to others is a true blessing. We are the heart, hands and voice of Spirit on earth.”
All Paths to God New Thought Church follows the teachings of Ernest Holmes and Science of Mind. Its mission is to reveal God and good in everyone and everything. Due to the pandemic, videotaped Sunday services can be seen each week at www.facebook.com/SCC.APTG/.
For more information, call 813-362-0806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.