In Case You Were Wondering…
Ministry… ordination… bishop… deacon… priest… incumbent… rector…. several terms are being used at the moment as we pivot from the interim period to the next phase in the life of our parish. So, what’s in a name?
First, a word about ministry. The total ministry of the church is shared by the laity and the ordained. Neither is more important than the other. Really! That’s because the primary call to ministry for every one of us is through our baptism in which we are united with Christ. Some ministries are performed by those who, by way of ordination, are called to serve and equip folk in their baptismal ministries. Through a process of discernment, a person’s sense of vocation to ordination is explored through conversations, interviews, retreats, theological education and interaction with a bishop (from the Greek ‘epi-skopos’ which means ‘over-seer.’) All of this is bathed in prayer as the guidance of the Holy Spirit is sought. Only when the call to ordained ministry is heard and confirmed by both the individual and the wider body of the church, does ordination actually happen.
This week, after being ordained a deacon, Rev. Kirsten will vest in a white alb and deacon’s stole, worn over the left shoulder as shown above. This is in contrast with the stole worn by a priest over both shoulders. Why the difference? Clergy vestments derived from Greek-Roman styles of formal dress, but there is also rich biblical symbolism which influenced their development. The stole over the shoulder of the deacon, some say, is reminiscent of Jesus wearing a towel as he washed feet at the Last Supper, pointing to the biblical role of the deacon to serve the needy (Acts 6.) The priest’s stole, some say, is like a yoke over a team of animals as they work together, reminiscent of Jesus saying “take my yoke upon you…. my burden is light” (Matthew 11.)
In the life of a parish, a deacon officiates at a Service of the Word, preaches, prepares the altar at the time of Holy Eucharist, distributes the consecrated sacrament, officiates at funerals and (with the Bishop’s permission) at baptisms and weddings, and offers pastoral care and counselling. Importantly, in a church service, the deacon proclaims the Gospel and gives the Dismissal - linking what we do in church to what we do in the outside world. The ministry of a priest includes all that as well as being celebrant for most of the sacraments of the church (baptism, eucharist, anointing, absolution.)
In the Anglican Church there are two types of deacon. “Distinctive deacons” have discerned a call to lifelong modelling for all of us the ministries of compassion and service to those in need. “Transitional deacons” are actually called to be priests, but spend some time before that, experiencing diaconal vocation so the principle of serving others may shape their future priestly ministry. Importantly, an ordained priest remains a deacon, just as an ordained bishop remains a priest and a deacon. So, for some months Rev. Kirsten will minister as “deacon-in-charge” until our Bishop ordains her to be a priest. It is our custom to call a “priest-in-charge” the incumbent or rector who is effectively a servant-leader of the people in their diverse areas of ministry.
Hopefully this explains why, for the next few months, Alan will remain in the parish providing priestly ministry and support while Kirsten experiences the charism of being a deacon-in-charge. In all things, God willing, our priority will be to serve and equip you as the church in Nanoose Bay and beyond.
Kirsten’s Ordination Today!
Kirsten will be ordained as a Deacon today, Wednesday, September 14th at Christchurch Cathedral, Victoria at 7:00 p.m. For those who cannot attend this important event the service will be livestreamed online at https://bc.anglican.ca/live and https://www.christchurchcathedral.bc.ca/live and also at https://vimeo.com/event/2372684. Please hold all three ordination candidates Kirsten, Trish and Shelia in your prayers.
Note that Rev. Kirsten can now be reached through the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
AS ALWAYS, OUR READERS ROSTER NEEDS YOUR HELP
Now that we have the readers’ schedule posted on the whiteboard in the hall we have removed the sign-up sheet in the church (due to duplications and contradictions.) Please (pretty please!) sign up to read or lead intercessions on the READERS ROSTER WHITEBOARD located by rector’s office in the hall. Thanks to those who have signed up!
We Together 2022 is our diocesan biennial family reunion at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Nanaimo. It's an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and a time to make new ones. Together we will learn about, pray about and share what God is up to in our lives, strengthening ourselves, as the diocese of Islands and Inlets, for the journey God is calling us to. The theme of this year’s conference will be “Here in This Place” where we will be exploring questions of what faithfulness looks like in these islands and inlets.
To learn more about this event and register, please visit the diocesan website
The September Edition of our Diocesan Newsletter Faith Tides is now available online. This month's issue includes an article entitled “My Journey – Reimagining who we are called to be” by our new Deacon in Charge, Kirsten. This article and many others can be found at https://faithtides.ca/
Emergency First Aid & Survival Kits are being sold as a fundraiser for the Tumaini Fund, which supports orphans in Tanzania. See the Tumaini noticeboard in the church hall, or speak to Val or Marg.