And so begins one of the most beautiful prayers in the Book of Common Prayer. This prayer is found in the ordination rites of the church as the congregation moves from the opening rite to the ministry of the Word. In a sense, it sets the table for what we are about to hear in the readings and what the church is about to do in setting apart certain individuals for ordination as deacon, priest, or bishop.
The prayer goes on to ask God to look favorably on the church as it attempts to participate in the mission of God in the world. It asks us to imagine that things grown old are being made new and that all things are moving toward perfection in God. And all of this is folded into our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
This Saturday the Diocese of Oregon will ordain seven individuals to Holy orders: One will be ordained to the priesthood, two as transitional deacons, and four as vocational deacons. Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of going on a short retreat with six of those to be ordained. We prayed, we worshiped, we considered the life to which they have been called and we spent time in quiet reflection. I give thanks to God for those who have been called to ordination and that particular way of serving in the church. As ordained leaders of the church they will join in a new way with many other leaders, both lay and ordained, in the task of being God’s people in a hurting world. Please keep them and the diocese in your prayers as we join in the sacrament of ordination. The names of those to be ordained are: Jonna Alexander, Linda Goertz, Cindra Gray, Catherine Healy, Zachary Harmon, Diane Higgins-Shaffer and James Jenkins.
This past Sunday I made my visitation to Ascension in Portland and was glad to see such a strong and vibrant community gathered. In conversation with the leadership I heard of the good work they are doing and the growth they are experiencing. Thanks to their priest, Phillip Craig, and to the entire congregation for a good visitation. Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of participating in an evensong and building dedication at St. Bart’s in Beaverton! Congratulations to Fr. Jeff and the good people of that parish for all the hard work going into making that project come about.
This Sunday I look forward to being at Grace Memorial in Portland and then the following week I will celebrate with the churches in Brookings and Port Orford. Then it will be off to General Convention and my Sabbatical.