A New Ministry Eucharist was celebrated on the night of March 9 at St. Augustine’s, Marpole. March 9 was also the night of the full moon and a pretty spectacular full moon it was, due to the proximity to Earth during the moon’s orbit. This is known as a Worm Moon creating a supermoon, a full moon that appears slightly larger than average. A special vision in the night sky for a special event, the celebration of the new shared ministry of the Parish of St. Augustine’s, Marpole and their new vicar, the Reverend Katherine Hough.
It was also the feast day when the Anglican Church remembers St. Gregory of Nyssa, a fourth century bishop and a teacher of the faith. The Propers for that day were observed in the liturgy and the life of St. Gregory was referred to in the sermon preached by the Venerable Richard Leggett, Rector of Holy Trinity, New Westminster and Archdeacon of Westminster.
There was a very good turnout of parishioners (including a choir of 10), visiting clergy (primarily from the Oakridge and Point Grey deaneries), family and friends. Rambo, the parish canine, dozed comfortably on the floor in the nave just in front of the entrance from the narthex.
Archbishop Skelton installed the new vicar and celebrated the Eucharist. The Venerable Douglas Fenton, Executive Archdeacon of the Diocese of New Westminster officiated the Covenant in Ministry. In his opening words, Archdeacon Fenton made reference to the ministry of the previous vicar, the Reverend Andrew Halladay who was instrumental in giving the parish, new hope, new vision and a new identity. He also remarked on the ministry of interim priest-in-charge, the Reverend Sharon Salomons who picking up on Rev. Halladay’s work had helped guide the parish in the preparation of their Parish Profile which resulted in the appointment of the Reverend Katherine Hough, formerly a priest in the Diocese of Kootenay. The Reverend Chris Magrega who is the Deacon at St. Augustine’s was Deacon of the Word and Table. Both the regional dean, the Reverend Marion Wong, Vicar of St. Matthias and St. Luke and the Venerable Stephanie Shepard, Priest-in-Charge of St. Martin, North Vancouver and Archdeacon of Granville were present to welcome their new ministry colleague. Archdeacon Shepard is becoming well-known for innovative welcomes and on this occasion she presented the new vicar and wardens with an assortment of items one would use to enhance a party (yes, there were potato chips). With the current restrictions in the diocese regarding coffee hours, post liturgy celebrations and physical contact, Archdeacon Shepard hoped that the party supplies could be put to good use at a later date.
In terms of the Eucharist in the time of COVID-19, things went very well, with folks bowing and smiling in greeting at the exchange of the Peace and Archbishop Skelton, the lone administrator of the bread of Holy Communion, the Body of Christ.
Please keep the Parish of St. Augustine and their new vicar, the Reverend Katherine Hough and her family in your prayers as they move into this new phase of ministry in Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood.