As the rain fell and the temperature rose on the morning of Saturday, January 18, 2020, following more than a week of real winter weather, the nave of Christ Church Cathedral was filled with worshippers attending the Eucharist on the Holy Day of The Confession of St. Peter the Apostle.
In addition to the Eucharist, this liturgy was also an Ordination liturgy. Three deacons of the diocese: the Reverend Alecia Danica Greenfield (Assistant Curate at St. Francis-in-the-Wood, Caulfeild) presented by the Reverend Angus Stuart and Penny Mitchell; the Reverend Jonathan David Pinkney (Assistant Curate at St. Helen's, Surrey) presented by the Reverend Stephen Laskey and Lauren Odile Pinkney; the Reverend André Marc Stephany (Assitant Curate at Christ Church Cathedral) presented by the Venerable Douglas Fenton and Keith Landherr were consecrated priests by the laying on of hands and anointing.
Archbishop Melissa Skelton presided and the Reverend Matthew Johnson of the Street Outreach Initiative located at St. James' was the preacher. Father Matthew was also the Chaplain to the Ordinands.
In his sermon which could be titled "At the Threshold" or perhaps "You Don't Entrust Your 'keys' to Just Anyone," Fr. Matthew juxtaposed both the secular caricature of St. Peter with the St. Peter of the Gospels and our current views of how information is recorded not the well-known "Book of Life" but "The Laptop of Life." Fr. Matthew illustrated that the non-biblical view of judgement and waiting for the Gates to be opened to us points to a universal human theme.
"The theme of the Threshold. A point at which, we stand on the brink, in this case—of something momentous. For, if anything, in this gathering, at this Holy Ordination, we stand at the Threshold, the Inception—of three priestly ministries."
He went on to say:
"When it comes to ordained ministry there could be no more fitting emissary, than Peter, in embodying the truths—including the difficult truths, of priestly apostolate. Actually, his name was Simon. Cephas (Greek ‘Petros’, English ‘Peter’), is Jesus’ nickname for Simon—that is, his ‘callsign’. Cephas, means literally, “the rock” or “rocky”. A nickname which itself suggests, that with all his human failings, Peter had a substantial character.
Jesus saw something solid at his core. And Jesus speaks elsewhere—doesn’t he?—about building a house on a “foundation of solid rock”. Here, as he speaks about the Church that will continue his mission, Jesus points out that Peter is just that sort of rock. Solid. Foundational.
What does that tell us about Jesus own opinion, even esteem, of Peter? After all—you don’t entrust your ‘Keys’ to just anyone, do you?
Oh, and Jesus chose well . . ."
With the homily completed the Ordination Eucharist continued with the various components of the liturgy: the Creed, the Presentation to the Archbishop of the ordinands by their sponsors; the Examination of the ordinands by the Archbishop; the Archbishop calling the people to prayer, the Litany; the Consecration of Priests; the Peace, the Offertory and the Eucharist. A Eucharist where and when the three ordinands administered the Body of Christ for the first time as priests in the Holy Church of God.
Despite the previous 7-10 days of inclement weather around the Diocese of New Westminster there was a large cohort of diocesan clergy present (and some visiting clergy) and a large congregation.
Members of Cathedral Choir under the Direction of CCC's organist and music director, Rupert Lang led the music in worship.
The Executive Archdeacon was happy to report that generous givers provided an offering to assist Anglican seminarians at VST on the ordination track. The total was $1,474.40. Thank you to all those who contributed in support of our seminarians!
Please keep Alecia, Jonathan and André in your prayers as they continue in their journey of faith and their call to ministry.