And away we go ...
1) What is the meaning of ordination, especially in the context of the general ministry of the church?
The sacrament of baptism is a gift from God and a means by which God’s grace enters the life of the baptized. It is also a ritual of initiation and incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church, in which the each person responds to the gift through participation in the life of the church by their prayers, presence, gifts, and service. Ordination is another facet of that response. It is not a higher or better response, just a particular manifestation of an individual’s response to God’s freely given grace. In ordination, the church affirms outwardly the inward commitment to serving God as a leader of a local congregation or in another ministry setting. The church thereby invests people with authority over certain areas of church life, based on the recognition of that commitment. Within the overall ministry of the church, ordained people are leaders who preach, teach, administer the sacraments, articulate the vision of the community, nurture the spiritual health of individuals within the community, and provide for service for people in need.
Well, what do y'all think?