On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Feast of St. Matthew, Archbishop Melissa Skelton inducted the Reverend Adam Yates as Rector of St. Faith's during a Liturgy of the Word service.
The parish did a great job of welcoming the visiting clergy and others. Physical distancing was maintained capably and comfortably.
Present and participating in the liturgy were: the Gathering Priest of St. Hildegard's Sanctuary the Reverend Melanie Calabrigo who had been serving the community as Priest-in-Charge; the former Priest-in-Charge, Archdeacon of Granville, Stephanie Shepard was present to welcome the new rector to the archdeaconry; Regional Dean of Oakridge, the Reverend Marion Wong was present to welcome her new ministry colleague; Deacon of the Word was the Reverend Juanita Clark; Missioner for Indigenous Justice Ministries for the Diocese of New Westminster, Jer Nii K'an Kwsdins acknowledged that the liturgy was taking place on the ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations; the Dean of the Diocese and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Reverend Chris Pappas was the preacher; Executive Archdeacon of the Diocese of New Westminster, the Venerable Douglas Fenton administered the Oaths and Subscriptions, described how the process that led to the appointment of the Reverend Adam Yates took place and began the Covenant in Ministry.
Dean Pappas' took the subject of the Feast Day being celebrated for his sermon focus. St. Matthew, the sinner, the tax collector who (as brilliantly illustrated by the Roman master, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) called by Christ, leaves his former life amidst the "Roman money-grabbers" and finds his true vocation following the Saviour. In his sermon, Dean Pappas shared this:
"A young man in formation to be a Roman priest came to the chapel to view this
painting many years ago. He was said to exclaim 'This is me a sinner, upon whom
the Lord has turned his gaze.' Many years later Pope Francis still considers himself
a worthy sinner called to be God’s witness." [Willimon]
There were approximately 40 gathered in the church with the three wardens and many of the parishioners present involved in the Presentation of the Symbols of Ministry and as contributors to other sections of the liturgy.
St. Hildegard's Sanctuary is also a community that worships at St. Faith's and that community presence was acknowledged and included during the induction.
Here are the words that concluded Dean Pappas' sermon:
"Tonight we stand here to celebrate the induction of Adam as your new rector. From
the land of steady habits to the land of unchanging habits God has brought you
together. And to the congregation, I charge you to support Adam and to join him in
his witness to God’s love, mercy and peace. In the midst of this pandemic, in the
midst of all that is assaulting the people of this world God is wanting you together
with him to be co-creators with God and work to realize a foretaste of the future in
the here and now. You can make the world as it is more like the world as it should
be, the world as God dreams it.
And Adam, I charge you to...
'Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [or sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ
be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the
world.'" [Martin Luther]