Sunday, October 18, 2009

2009 Convention Eucharist and Ordination Sermon by Bishop Johnson

I don’t know of a stronger way to reflect on the mission of our diocese than to ordain Linda Tardy Wilson as a deacon of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church in the midst of the convention Eucharist of our diocese.

We’ve just completed an exciting convention full of prayer, worship, fellowship and doing the business related to our mission and ministry as a diocese.

So, it’s timely to participate in this service of personal and corporate rededication of ourselves to the mission of rebuilding our diocese. Ours is a special task – to thank God for calling us to rebuild and to be strengthened spiritually for the rebuilding.

And in the midst of all this, Bishop Price and I will ordain Linda Tardy Wilson a deacon.

Now, to me, the diaconal ordination service is one of the most powerful services in our prayer book. It not only reminds our new deacon-to-be what the ministry of a deacon is all about, it reminds us, as God’s people in the diocese of Pittsburgh, what our ministry is all about.

For Christian ministry is always about three things: engaging, serving and trusting.

Engaging – there was a rector of a healthy parish in a major city who noticed that just three miles away another parish had not only been closed due to a changing neighborhood, its property had been sold for development. Shortly thereafter, he heard that the beautiful old Victorian brick church was going to be destroyed and the property scraped. He made it a point to go down to the old church on demolition day and rescued an old brick, which he took back to his healthy parish and placed it on the pulpit where all could see.

No comments: