Another Invitation

I know I know it is shameful that I have gone this long! Parish life is challenging and fulfilling and VERY VERY BUSY! But I am loving it. I can’t believe that in…um…how many sleeps? Marc would know… 25! 25 sleeps and I will be ordained as a priest.

But before I get to that, I have three churches. St. Mary the Virgin in Bayfield is a small wooden church overlooking the water with acoustics comparable to Indian River! Holy Trinity in Country Harbour is also small and wooden and in the woods in the interior of Nova Scotia in Guysborough County. It is on a beautiful drive that always soothes my soul. St. Paul the Apostle is the “town church” with a diverse congregation and some wonderful talent. You can keep up on our happenings by weekly visiting the parish blog.

Some of you attended my ordination to the diaconate, for which I am extremely grateful. This ordination will make me a priest, able to celebrate at the Eucharist among other sacraments to which I feel called to fulfil the ministry God has called me to. Do you get the called bit?

So, here is the official invitation–there’s another one, so keep reading:

By the Grace of God and with the consent of the people
The Right Reverend Frederick Hiltz and
the Right Reverend Susan Moxley,
by Divine Permission,
Bishops of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and
Prince Edward Island
will ordain

Beverly Dawn Dickieson

to the Sacred Order of Priests
in Christ’s One Holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church.

Wednesday, the twenty-ninth of May, the eve of St. Andrew,
in the year of our Lord
two thousand six
at seven thirty in the evening,
Cathedral Church of All Saints
1340 Tower Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Your faithful prayers are required and
your gracious presence is requested.

You are also invited to join me at the chapel of Atlantic School of Theology on Thursday, November 30 at 8:15 am for my first Eucharist.

Blessings, Rev. Dawn


I’m back online with pictures to share

Hi everybody. I’m back! And I have pictures. I’ll post one or two every day or two or seven. You will notice I have already posted my past three sermons.

Yes, I am now the Rev. Dawn Dickieson with the collar and the beautiful stoles handmade by Mom and Bev Roach to prove it. It was a glorious night. I still get goosebumps.

Since most of the pictures were taken by other people, I am still waiting to receive copies. But they will be up soon.


Pentecost Sunday: A note from our deacon

Greetings to you through the power of the Holy Spirit. Today is a glorious day as we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and give thanks for the presence of the Spirit in our lives and in our community. Thank you for your good wishes on the event of my ordination. It was a truly wonderful night that I will always cherish. And congratulations and God’s blessings on those who have made their first Holy Communion this morning and a special thank you to your parents and guardians that have supported you along the way. It has been an honour to journey with you to this point and you will continue in my prayers. Last week I enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning at Dorothy Swift’s house at the plant sale; offered one Home Communion; met with the Diocesan Campus Ministry sub-committee, regional council, and spent some time with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Youth Project in downtown Halifax. Blessings, Rev. Dawn

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,

A note from our ordinand

One of my responsibilities in St. Thomas and St. Margaret’s is to put a note in the bulletin with some thoughts on my week and to introduce the readings. I would like to share this with you all. When I get my own computer set up I will post my past notes. Dawn

May 28

“Do you believe that you are truly called by God and his Church to the life and work of a deacon?”
“I believe I am so called.”
The Examination, Ordination of a Deacon BAS p. 655

As the time for my ordination is approaching, life is getting very hectic and exciting. My older brother, who arrives on Sunday from England to present me to the Bishop, tells me he is proud to “give his little sister away”. We don’t really use that language any more, but it is a huge transition. On Friday I spent the day with my classmates for a quiet day with the Rev. Charles Bull at Seton Centre in Terrance Bay. This was a time of contemplation on our calling to the life of ordained clergy.

I give thanks for the ordination of 5 of my classmates into the United Church of Canada, taking place today at the meeting of Maritime Conference in Sackville, NB: Helene Burns, Gloria Churchill, Joan Griffin, Joan MacDonald and Debra Baker-White.

This week I worked on the parochial return. Many thanks to Helen and Gail for taking the time with me to work on this important item in our parish life. It is a blessing to work with such dedicated lay people. I visited three of our parishioners and spent Tuesday evening to do some visioning for outreach in the fall.

You are most welcome and warmly invited to my ordination on Wednesday night at the Cathedral Church of All Saints at 7:30. Blessings, Dawn

Introduction to the Readings

This gospel reading is all about security, a big issue in our society now. Walter Brueggemann talks about how our society is consumed by anxiety, how perhaps we ought to have a prayer of anxiety instead of a prayer of confession, and respond with an assurance of…what? protection? comfort? hope?

In the gospel reading, Jesus talks about guarding, protecting the disciples in the difficult time to come. This is very much our world about which he is talking, a world in which Jesus is no longer a physical presence and the cultural environment is dominated by the powers and principalities. He speaks about his disciples being guarded in this new world by their unity (verse 11), by Jesus’ joy (verse 13), by being sanctified in the truth (verse 17), and by Jesus’ example and leadership (verse 19). Psalm 1 may give some idea about what being “sanctified in the Word” involves! Jesus also commissions the disciples: we are sent as he was sent, into the world. How different is our security, and our calling, from the cultural norm!

In verse 23, it is our unity in particular which not only protects us, but is our principal asset in mission. Gathering: Lent/Easter/Pentecost 2006, United Church of Canada

Tabs, shells, and Father Tuck

On the Friday that classes ended, I and two of my friends dashed to the Diocesan Bookroom to seek out clergy shirts. It is one of those things you feel you really don’t have the right to do until you are ordained, but how else are you supposed to have your clergy shirt on at the reception?!

First of all, why are womens’ shirts $25 more than mens’ shirts? And why do the women’s stock only fill two shelves while the men get a whole section? Message to manufacturers-we have been ordaining women for about 30 years now. It’s time to update your catalogues!

And who would have thought that neck size was so important? No one who wears pullovers 90% of the time (yep, that would be me).

Then there is the question of tab or full collar? Shell or button down? I’m going with a shell-which is a very light polyester blouse that buttons in the back to which you attach a full collar. But I also got the black standard button down for those moments when only the traditional will do.

As we were trying to decide between styles and colours and such, an incredibly helpful lady named Lorraine told us, “By the way, for your ordination, you must wear black”. This is one of those gnostic secrets that you learn as ordination looms on the horizon. Its about three steps below turning water into wine. Hmmm. Should I be sharing such secrets on my blog? Sure. I’ve never been a fan of the gnostics.

Since our local clergy shirt distributor is a book store, not a fashion house, we shuffled down the hall towards the bathroom, trying to avoid the eyes of clergy who may recognize us playing dress-up.

At this point I should pause and tell you my dream about wearing my clergy shirt. In my dream, I am in this exact bathroom, removing my albe after the ordination, and the time comes to put the tab in the collar. I put it in, look in the mirror, and immediately throw up in the sink.

When I went out to check the fit and show my friends, one turned to me, “Put it in”.
“The tab. Put it in.”
“Noooo. I’m not quite ready for that.”
“You have to. I did. You have to, too.” (If this is starting to sound like the bathroom at a high school dance, good, that means you are paying attention!)

So, I put it in, but didn’t look. “Look in the mirror,” my friends egged me on. “Not yet,” I replied, talk to me some more”. So they gave me their comments on the size, the cut. I talked about how I would have to shorten it so it looks less like a nightgown. After a few minutes, they would let me stall no longer.

I took a breath, and turned towards the mirror. I saw the shirt, the tab, began to see my hair, and immediately I turned away and ripped out the tab. “Nope! I’m not ready yet,” I exclaimed, and we all burst into giggles of laughter. I took a peek to make sure that woman with the clergy shirt and the red hair was not still behind the mirror somewhere.

We each had our own experiences with that little white piece of plastic that afternoon. I felt a bit like cheating. Although day by day it is becoming a little more real, it is not that real, just yet. I must confess, I like that moment of a magic trick when the bunny disappears, and you have just witnessed something impossible. It is the moment just before you realize that there must be a reasonable explanation. I don’t think this is supposed to be real, just yet.

Good Friday

It has been quite a month. I have completed an enormous part of my life thus far, and am looking straight ahead at ordination. I have also completed my graduate work, and am looking forward to convocation. More on all this in the days to come, as I actually start to post some things to this blog.

This Easter weekend marks the end of my time at Christ Church Dartmouth. I knew the time was coming quickly to say goodbye, but I think I only started saying goodbye last night. During our Maundy Thursday service, as we prepared for the foot washing, I realised that this would be the last Maundy Thursday service I would attend as a lay person, and that next year the roles will be reversed, and I will be doing the washing. And to have a woman who has journeyed with me and, sometimes, in spite of me, for the better part of seven years, wash my feet was very powerful. I’ll tell you later about the clergy shirts!

I will add more in the coming days. May you find the hope you seek in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.