Remembering my Ordination

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As I prepare to retire from active ministry, no longer physically able to serve a congregation, I am reminded that ordination is for life.  I will find ways to continue to honor these vows I took on November 4, 2007.

Act of Ordination                                                                     led by Dan Mansergh

Dan Mansergh: In the Unitarian Universalist tradition of religious freedom, the authority and privilege of ordaining ministers rests solely with the people of the congregation. Ordination is recognition of a unique commitment to leadership in a religious community.

Theresa Jane Novak, you have been a member and a lay leader of this congregation.  It is here that you discovered Unitarian Universalism and first felt the call to ministry.  We proudly recognize your call and your preparation for Unitarian Universalist ministry.  You have earned your Master of Divinity Degree from Starr King School for the Ministry, served a year as the intern minister in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis in Maryland, and received the recommendation of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.  By the authority of the vote of the members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin, we are pleased to offer you ordination.

Are you ready to accept ordination to the Unitarian Universalist ministry?

Theresa Novak:  Yes, I am.

Dan Mansergh:  Theresa, in the sacred work of ministry, do you pledge to lead and to serve our faith fully; to speak, act and live as a voice of courage and of hope; to champion justice, freedom, and compassion?

Theresa Novak: Yes, I do.

Dan Mansergh: Theresa, in your ministry, do you pledge to preach, teach, and live the principles of our faith; to honor those of all ages and of all sorts and conditions; to serve in your ministry freely, among all those who are in need?

Theresa Novak: Yes, I do

Dan Mansergh:  Will the members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin please rise?

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin:  We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin do hereby ordain you, Theresa Jane Novak, to the Unitarian Universalist ministry.

We charge you to minister faithfully and courageously. May you always lead in the ways of justice, liberty and compassion; minister to all alike in human joy and sorrow; celebrate and share our liberal faith; and nourish the Spirit of Life within yourself and others.

Theresa Novak:  With deep humility, I accept ordination to the Unitarian Universalist ministry.  I pledge that I shall always endeavor to speak, to write and to live guided by the principles of our faith, with love, with courage, and in hope, for as long as I shall live.


Dan Mansergh:  Will Theresa’s family, friends and colleagues, please stand and join in the affirmation of this act of ordination.


All:  Theresa, we have each walked with you and shared with you on your life’s journey that has led you to professional ministry.  We rejoice with you on this occasion, and offer you our continuing friendship and support.  With pride and love, we offer you our blessings on your ministry.

Dan Mansergh:  Will the representatives of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden please come forward.

Bill Hackett and Dan Arnow:  Theresa, you have been ministering to us and to our church since September.  It is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you for this sacred ceremony. We are grateful for those in this room and elsewhere who have helped you become the minister you are.

Theresa Novak: It is with gratitude, joy, and serious commitment that I accept ordination and I promise to dedicate myself to living the ministry which you have entrusted to me.  With my mind, body, soul, and most of all with my heart, and sustained by all that is holy and all that is human, I pledge to fulfill the offices of priest, pastor, prophet and teacher, according to the needs of our tradition, and to commit myself to the ministry to which you have ordained me.

All: Theresa, with this act of ordination we send you forth as a minister.  May your ministry be one filled with love, faith, and the joy of worthwhile work.  May you make a difference in the lives of those you serve, and may you help to heal some of our hurting world.  Blessings on you and upon your ministry.

Below are some pictures from that day.






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