Yesterday I travelled a long way on five trains (and five more back again) to attend the ordination and induction of a minister for whom I've been invited to act as mentor during her first three years of ministry.
It was a very happy service. A small, grant-aided church on the edge of a big city, their usual congregation augmented by representatives of two denominations (it's an LEP), the college where she trained and a variety of friends and family.
I love ordination and induction services (combined or separate), they always remind me of my own, and reconnect me with the promises I made in years past.
What was good yesterday, in a congregation where there at least as many women baptist ministers as in the whole of Scotland, this was totally unpassremarkable. What was good that no-one commented on the fact that the candidate and the preacher were women; there was no notice taken that one of those who laid on hands was a black woman minister... and it felt so very, very good.
I hope for a day when it is equally unpassremarkable in other contexts too... when my unchosen place in history is firmly consigned to history, and other 'firsts', onwhatever basis they are deemed noteworthy, have also come and gone.
It was a long day, a long way to go for a 90 minute serivce, but it was well worth while.
Rev LH may God bless you in your ministry at WUFC now and for many years to come. Amen.