The highlight of this year’s Irish Autumn Harvest Festival (held Sept. 11-17), was the ordination of two members of GCI’s churches in Ireland. James Henderson (director for GCI in the UK) was accompanied by Anthony Goudie and Irish Deacons and Deaconesses in ordaining James Joseph (Joe) Casey as an elder (first picture) and Alando (Alan) Bata as a deacon (second picture).
Joe has been a deacon in the Limerick Congregation in the south of Ireland for a number of years. He is also an active member of their pastoral council. Alan and his wife Fe are Filipino members of the Dublin Congregation. Alan recently became an Irish citizen.
In the ordination ceremony, James Henderson (at right in both pictures) spoke briefly about ordination and the roles of deacon and elder as outlined in Scripture. Both men were asked if they would accept their respective roles, to which they agreed. After prayer both men were anointed with oil as a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and hands laid on them as a symbol of separation to serve. The members of the Irish churches (along with some visiting festival guests) were delighted with these ordinations, and wished both Alan and Joe a blessed and fruitful future in service to their respective congregations.