Due to the pandemic restrictions in place, the September 8, 2020 induction service was like no other - but in many ways, the simpler liturgy that formally installed the Rev. André Stephany as St. Clement's new rector was all the more meaningful for it.
While it was indeed unfortunate not to be able to invite more people to witness the event in person, the livestream of the service was very well utilized and swelled the ranks of worshippers considerably. A recording of the service is available here on the St. Clement's live stream page.
A small procession of clergy took their places in the sanctuary. We were pleased to welcome Archbishop Melissa Skelton, Executive Archdeacon, the Venerable Douglas Fenton, Archdeacon of Capilano, the Venerable Stephen Muir, North Vancouver Regional Dean, the Reverend Patrick Blaney and, as preacher, the Reverend Helen Dunn, Vicar of Christ Church Cathedral, where André served after ordination as assistant curate.
The induction was held on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an occasion reflected in the readings and in the Rev. Dunn's sermon, in which she made reference to Andre's keen eye for beauty in worship and life. (The sermon is at roughly the 14:23 mark in the video recording, and the text is attached here.)
Then followed the Covenant in Ministry, in which the oaths and subscriptions were administered to André as required by canon law. André, the congregation and guests were asked to make mutual vows to support the ministry of the parish before André was presented with symbols of the ministry of the whole people of God.
The symbols - a Bible, prayer books, water, holy oil, bread and wine, the canons of the diocese, and the keys to the church - each came with a request highlighting the importance of various aspects of André's ministry at St. Clement's. André replied to each request with an invitation for the parish to join with him in doing the work of God in this place. Those who were unable to witness the vows and presentations are encouraged to read them in the service bulletin, available here.
The service concluded with an al fresco gathering in the front garden, made even more special by the addition of fairy lights thanks to our wardens and hospitality team. It was a good chance to greet our guests, including North Vancouver RCMP Supt. Ghalib Bhayani who kindly joined us for the occasion and reflected afterward on the need to support safe and healthy communities by working together. Many people stayed behind to congratulate André and enjoy each other's company around the St. Clement's anchor.
Many thanks to all who worked hard to make this event memorable and lovely. It was a treat to have novel highlights such as a spoken-word hymn read by Ian Gunn and accompanied by Lynley Lewis on the keyboard, and a concluding hymn sung by Alice Battista - who was on a mic at a safe distance in the vestry! On behalf of St. Clement's and its new rector, thank you to everyone, and a big tip of the hat to people's warden Phoebe Yong for coordinating the efforts.