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Beginnings, in partnership

What a great celebration we had last night!

It was such a delight to have so many people at All Saints on a weeknight to celebrate our shared ministry.

In many ways, it is sort of a strange thing to celebrate at this time. After all, our "shared ministry" started six weeks ago. But there are logistics and whatnot, and it has become the tradition that after a few weeks, the Bishop comes to formally appoint clergy.

In many ways, I was pulled into being the center of things in a way that I don't think represents how we do ministry, but more than anything, we reflected on our shared ministry. I want to touch on the symbols of ministry that were given to me briefly.

I was given a Bible and asked to proclaim the Word; I was given water and asked to baptize; a stole, to serve as pastor and priest; a prayerbook, to be a person of prayer; oil, to be a reconciler and healer; a soup pot, to serve those in need; keys, to open the doors; bread and wine, to celebrate the Eucharist.

It is easy to think of these as the tools of the trade and little else. And they are truly symbols of the work that a newly hired priest undertakes. But there is one thing that isn't clear in this liturgy--something I wish were abundantly clear. None of these symbols can be used by me alone.

None of these can be used by me alone: they can only be used by us in partnership. And that is really what we celebrated last night. We celebrated that we will work together to do all of those things and whatever God has in store for us.

Six weeks ago, I was excited to see what might happen at All Saints. And now, I think there is so much more to hope for!

Photo (L to R): The Rev. Margaret Rose, preacher; The Rev. Paulette Rempel; the Rt. Rev. Allen Shin; The Rev. JK Melton; and the Rev. Canon K. Jeanne Person.

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