Thank you for being the place where I was ordained a priest and where I get to work in a corner of God’s vineyard. You all were very welcoming to my family and friends who traveled from various areas in the southeast to be a part of the service on January 10. One thing I have learned about Christ Church is that our parishioners understand what it means to be the Cathedral. You “get it” about hosting ordinations and having a special relationship with the bishop and diocese. But you all also understand how to roll up your sleeves and work on special events, like my ordination, and I want to say “thank you” one more time for making the day a very meaningful and joyful event. Photos here
In reflecting about being ordained a priest, I am reminded of two things, one what my friend and classmate Alex talked about in his sermon at my ordination, and the other what Dean Gibson mentioned in her sermon that Sunday.
In Alex’s sermon, he talked about priests being set apart. He said they were not better than others, but set apart for service as “doulos,” that is, as slaves. He reminded me that in all of the work I do for the church, the ministry is not mine, but it is Christ’s.
Last Sunday, the Dean said of me in her sermon, it is not about what I do at the altar when celebrating the Eucharist. That Sunday was going to be my first time celebrating. Instead, it is what the Holy Spirit will do with our Sacraments. In other words, the “pressure” was off of me and placed squarely where it should be— on God. We had a similar conversation during the week, but her sermon was good reinforcement for me and a teaching moment for us all.
Alex’s and Dean Gibson’s words spoke to me in that all I that I do, the ministry is God’s and I am His. I am to work joyfully in His vineyard, wherever he sends me. And it is the Holy Spirit who will do the “heavy lifting” when it comes to our Sacraments and ministry in general.
I am excited to be here in Mobile at Christ Church Cathedral. You all are helping me to be formed as a priest. Y’all have done this from the very first time I came to visit last spring. Through our working together with Christian formation, youth, worship, pastoral care, and outreach, we are getting our hands dirty for Christ and ministry is done for God’s glory.
Thank you all for an awesome ordination and for being a wonderful parish. I am blessed and I will see you all at church!