Day 3 as a Deacon

Most difficult question I have been asked: Do you feel different? I really don’t know. I am still so excited and slightly terrified that it is hard for me to know what is the same and what is different. I’ve worn my collar for various occasions every day since my ordination. I have decided that, until I am used to it, I will wear it. When I pop it in, I still feel like I am playing dress up, and that I am going to get caught by a real cleric, and then I’ll be in BIG TROUBLE!

I guess the difference is the subtle difference in how others treat me. I wore my shirt tonight to St. George’s Hot Meals, and it opened some very interesting conversations. I was on the door and had some wonderful conversations with those who came in out of the rain. I wonder if the way people react to the collar depends on the vibes sent out by the person wearing it. I think to see someone in a collar warmly welcome you in out of the rain is a small way to shed the baggage it often carries for people.

The ordination itself was glorious. Many thanks to everyone who made it such a perfect event for all of us. The Rev. Francis Drolet-Smith preached a wonderful sermon focussing on the stories of Mary, Elizabeth and Hannah, placing us into that story, and challenging us each to share our own song with the Church. It was a special joy for me to have my loved ones, none of whom are Anglican, all have a part in my service.

A real surprise and delight was being presented with the Bible presented to my great-grandfather, the Rev. Thomas West by Bishop Frederick Courtney in 1897 when he was ordained.

Where am I going? That, actually, is probably the question I get asked most. All I can say is I am very happy working in Fall River and Oakfield during this interim time, and I am very excited and looking forward to what the bishop has in store for me next. Blessings,

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Ordination to the Diaconate

I have some exciting news.

After a discernment process lasting 9 years, I received a joyful phone call from the Rt. Rev. Fred Hiltz, Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island.

Upon receiving my M.Div., I will be ordained to the diaconate on May 31, 2006 at All Saints Cathedral in Halifax with 5 of my classmates. It is a worship service, so open to all. It is my hope that it will be a sacred and celebratory time accessible to all.

The ministry of the deacon is an important foundation on which to build my growing vocation to the priesthood. The deacon is called to translate the needs of the world to the Church. As a deacon, I will be concerned with those in my community and through out the world who are marginalized and vulnerable due to poverty, oppression, discrimination and illness. This role is extremely important to me at the moment, particularly in my work on the global impact of HIV/AIDS, pastoral care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, and the growing impact of poverty on many in our Atlantic communities.

My task is to hold these issues before the Church. I work hard among all, but it is not my job to do all the work. This is the ministry of the whole Church, and I am looking forward to working alongside my sisters and brothers to bring to fruition God’s good will for those in our midst.

The ordination will take place on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth. It is the event of Mary, pregnant with the Messiah visiting her cousin, Elizabeth, pregnant with the herald of the Messiah-John the Baptist. It is a wonderful feast because it precedes my favourite piece of scripture, the revolutionary Magnificat, and it is all about WOMEN!

I look forward to sharing more news about this event with you and I do hope you can come and join in this celebration. If you can not, there will be another ordination around November or December to the priesthood, to which you are also welcomed.

Blessings