Dear Cathedral Family,
This Sunday afternoon at Christ Church Cathedral, our bishop will ordain eight new deacons for our diocese. This ordination, originally scheduled for April 25, was postponed due to the pandemic. Given the need to proceed in a timely manner with their ordination, which will enable them to begin active ministry in our diocese, the bishop decided to move forward with the service.
Please be assured that every precaution is being taken to protect the health and safety of everyone present and to minimize impact on our spaces. The gathering will be small—ordinands, their immediate family and presenters, and a minimal altar party. Appropriate distancing will be observed, and all participants will wear masks. There will be no gathering before or after. The service will be live streamed to the whole diocese, and I hope as many of you as are able will be present virtually.
This service is sacrificial on the part of all those present. It is also sacrificial for the Cathedral Family, as we give up our usual ways of practicing hospitality and our presence with our bishop and diocesan family. We do this for a greater and higher good—the wellbeing of our whole community and the carrying forward in new ways of our servant ministry as followers of Jesus Christ.
Our ongoing physical separation as the Body of Christ is hard. What earlier felt like a simple giving-up for a time, now feels like a difficult sacrifice. As always the Word offers us light and hope in our readings from scripture this Sunday. The story of Abraham’s testing, God’s asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac, is a wrenching story that turns on the truth that “the Lord will provide.” Paul explains that discipleship is in essence being “slaves to righteousness.” Jesus, after explaining the demands of discipleship, speaks of its ultimate reward.
I pray every day to be faithful as a disciple and as a servant leader along with you all. Please join me in that prayer.