Everything Has Its Time

The ordination service of nine female deacons serving in the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland was held on Saturday, 7 May 2022 at the Holy Trinity Church in Warsaw.
 
The ceremony was the first ordination after the decision of the Synod of the Church on 16 October 2021 to amend the Internal Law, which enabled women to become pastors. The discussion about the women ordination had been going on in the Church for 70 years. The service was attended by, among others, pastors, families, representatives of the parishes where deacons serve, international and ecumenical guests and parishioners.
 
The ordination was led by the Presiding Bishop Jerzy Samiec. In his ordination speech, Bishop Samiec referred to the text from the Book of Ecclesiastes  "Everything Has Its Time". He recalled that women, after completing their theological studies for many years had no opportunity to serve as pastors because the Church had not recognised their call. Nevertheless, they chose to serve, even though it was difficult for them to find a job, or they sought their place elsewhere. The presiding bishop admitted that he did not know why this was happening: "Maybe it was because we often said that a woman in the church should keep silence. We considered ourselves superior; because we are men." 
 
Addressing the ordained women, he stressed that their ordination, should not be seen as an achievement, but as an opportunity to understand that God is sending nine women into the ministry to proclaim His Gospel: "Ordination cannot and should not be an end in itself, but is a gateway that opens up opportunities to do things differently, I do not say fully, because your commitment has always been full."
 
The following were appointed to the ministry of the Word of God and the Sacraments: Rev. Halina Radacz (assistants: Rev. Wojciech Płoszek, Rev. Waldemar Radacz), Rev. Małgorzata Gas (assistants: Rev. Piotr Gas, Rev. Łukasz Gaś), Rev. Karina Chwastek-Kamieniorz (assistants: Rev. Dariusz Chwastek, Rev. Witold Chwastek), Rev. Beata Janota (assistants: Rev. Jan Raszyk, Rev. Marcin Brzóska), Rev. Katarzyna Kowalska (assistants: Rev. Eneasz Kowalski, Rev. Marek Michalik), Rev. Wiktoria Matloch (assistants: Msgr. Aleksandra Błahut-Kowalczyk, Rev. Roman Pracki), Rev. Katarzyna Rudkowska (assistants: Rev. Counsellor Wojciech Rudkowski, Msgr. Jan Cieślar), Rev. Izabela Sikora (assistants: Rev. Slawomir Sikora, Deacon Aleksandra Błahut-Kowalczyk), Rev. Marta Zachraj-Mikołajczyk (assistants: Rev. Pawel Mikołajczyk, Rev. Counsellor Marcin Orawski). 
 
Rev Halina Radacz, in the sermon she preached after the ordination, based on the text of Mt 20:24-28, spoke about the importance of service. She reminded of the understanding of greatness and importance in God's Kingdom as indicated by Jesus Christ. He made a revolution in the disciples' thinking, because the word servant had hitherto been associated with activities that slaves or women performed.
 
Jesus called disciples to be servants and called himself a servant: "Jesus changes the meaning of the word servant. Diakonia becomes the sign of Christ's disciples, it becomes the marker of Christ's vocation". Rev Radacz also addressed questions of what service means today in Christianity, where the word is used in all cases. She recalled , that Christ gave meaning to service: "Our joyful proclamation that Christ has reconciled us with God through the cross and that he has given us life through his resurrection, is born out of his Service. To this ministry he calls us today, to listen to God's Word and the needs of the people we meet on our way, to live a life of listening and action."
 
The broadcast and recording of the service is available on the Trinity parish YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/LuteraniewWarszawie

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