What a joyful event. The South Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa got 13 new pastors on Sunday 25 June. I was privileged to be part of the service, which took place at the Diocesan centre at Umphumulo. This might be the last ordination service that Bishop P P Buthelezi leads. He will retire later this year. On this occasion he was surrounded by two other bishops namely Bishop Emeritus S P Zulu (one of his predecessors) and Bishop Emeritus Dr M Biyela, former bishop of the Eastern Diocese.
Five of the candidates I have taught – either at the Lutheran Theological Institute (LTI) or at the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The main reason for my presence was however the ordination of Rev. Selom Klu. The first time I met him was in Kalmar in the South of Sweden. I think it was in 2010. He lived in Blomstermåla and was very active in Ålem Parish, where my wife worked as Parish Educator.
We moved to Pietermaritzburg in South Africa 2013 and in 2014 Selom also moved there. He lived at the LTI and continued his theological studies at UKZN. He was my student in homiletics and liturgy. When we moved back to Sweden in 2015 Selom remained in South Africa and last year he was accepted as a candidate for ordination into priesthood.
Selom is originally from West Africa and is now a full pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa after a number of years in Sweden. The common feature here is of course the Lutheran Church. Selom was born into the Lutheran Church in Togo, became active in the Lutheran Church in Sweden and now in Southern Africa. With this blog post I want to share some highlights of the ordination service.
The first youtube clip is part of the Nicene Creed, which the candidates confess together.
Thereafter Bishop P P Buthelezi asks the candidates a few questions and they all answer yes.
Central in any ordination service is when the candidate gets the stole laid on her or his shoulders. (In Church of Sweden the bishop always literally does that part.) On the other hand priests in Church of Sweden do not get a bible, an altar book, a chalice and a paten. (One has to mention that the chalice and paten is just there as symbols. The rest is given to the candidate. This means that every candidate keeps chasubles in every liturgical colour. In Church of Sweden the chasuble belongs to the Parish and is kept in the church.)
The laying of hands is also a central part of the liturgy. In this case it is the bishops and the deans that lay hands on each candidate.
Each candidate is introduced to the congregation. It is the deputy bishop, Dean N Myaka, who introduces them and he describes Selom as a missionary with links to Church of Sweden.
Here follows some photos from the ordination service.
Rev. Selom Klu
Bishop Emeritus M Biyela, Bishop P P Buthelezi, Bishop Emeritus S P Zulu.
Directly after the ordination all the newly ordained walk in a procession to meet their congregants.
All the 13 newly ordained. Eight of them are self supporting ministers and the other five are full pastors. Among them are some of my students. Second from the left is Selom Klu. Sixth from the left Ntuthuko Nkosi. Next to him Nokukhanya Mngoma and thereafter Njabulo Madonsela. The tall pastor fourth from the right was also my student: Msizi Mkhathini. I was very happy to be there and
participate in their ordination.