In the October Tartan, I wrote about transition – here at St. Andrew’s after our long-term rector Fr. Martin Yabroff retired, and my own transition, following my ordination to the appropriately entitled transitional diaconate. I am humbled to have been ordained, and my sacred journey with God continues, as will my sacred journey with all of you, dear friends at St. Andrew’s, until I am assigned to a new congregation.
Our senior warden Judy Nelson recently noted in her Parish Update that transition is a change from one state to another. As a transitional deacon my role at St. Andrew’s will reflect that “change from one state to another” in several ways. First, during this time I will be transitioning to the priesthood to which – with God’s grace and the people consenting – I will be ordained in June. Until then I will be serving as a deacon.
St. Andrew’s is familiar with the role of deacons, having recently walked with Jeffrey Boyce, who is a candidate for ordination to the vocational diaconate. Deacons are called to identify the needs and concerns of the world – especially those of justice, compassion and reconciliation – and then to engage their congregation to respond to those needs. St. Andrew’s food bank is an example of the fruits of a former deacon’s ministry. Deacons also have a specific role in the liturgy, where they proclaim the gospel, bid intercessions, set the Eucharistic table and send the congregation forth to be the Church in the world.
As a deacon, I now serve directly under the bishop, and my role will change from being a lay minister. Those who worshiped with us on Sunday may have noticed this already! And over the next several weeks, you will see me embrace more fully this new role – just as St. Andrew’s will embrace its new role during our transition with our interim, the Rev. Tom Ortung.
I am so grateful for all of you at St. Andrew’s! You have held me in prayer and walked with me through challenging times, always lending me an encouraging word or hug of support. I look forward to walking together with you in the next couple of months, as we sing to the Lord a new song!