The Education for Ministry (EfM) Graduation Eucharist in the Diocese of New Westminster was celebrated on Saturday, June 2, 11am at St. Stephen the Martyr, Burnaby. Rector of St. Stephen, Ruth Monette joined by lay leaders of the parish including warden Colleen Butterley did a great job of making everyone feel welcome, particularly the five new graduates (there were six, however, Maggie from Sechelt received her Certificate in absentia) and current EfM students in attendance who were present to support their colleagues and to assist in the Celebration of the Eucharist.
At 10:50am, EfM Coordinator for the diocese, the Reverend Paula Porter Leggett organized a quick rehearsal of the music for worship which was the Reverend Clare Morgan’s “Celtic Mass”. Morgan was present to lead the music in worship, singing and playing the harp, joined by the Reverend Trudi Shaw, hand drum; Paula Porter-Leggett, guitar and St. Faith’s musician, Ruben Federizon, piano.
The preacher for the Eucharist was the Reverend Dr. Catherine Hall, Director of EfM Canada. Dr. Hall was for many years the rector of St. Hilda’s, Sechelt and after some time in the Diocese of Calgary she is now retired from parish ministry and lives on Vancouver Island.
Archbishop Skelton was the officiant and presided at the Eucharist. EfM is very near and dear to Archbishop Skelton for it was her initial exposure to EfM in 1978, during a time when she was a young mother and also spouse to a first year Episcopal seminarian in Tennessee trying to find her way in the Church that she found the real experience of community that EfM offers those who are committed to learning more about their faith and through this experience being sent into the world to further God’s mission.
In her sermon, which began with the question, “Is there life after EfM”, Dr. Cathy Hall told a personal story of her deaf sister-in-law who had received coclear implant surgery. The implants don’t actually begin working right away so it took Cathy by surprise when her sister-in-law began to ask about the noise she was hearing which turned out to be rain falling on the roof of the house. For Dr. Hall, “EfM is like that, a lot of things are seen and heard in a new way…many of us are changed by EfM…many of us are transformed…but so what?” She went on to answer the “So what?” question and her answer is that although the new increased perception fueled by the EfM experience is important in the EfM grad's life, it is more about the difference that will be made in the lives of those around the grad; friends, colleagues, relatives, members of the church community. Life after EfM is defined by the ministries that the grads will take on in their lives as they “step out into the world, strengthened by their communities into a world transformed through the EfM experience, her prayer for all who have experienced EfM is “That we will continue to see God’s word, see the world in a new way and be called into the world in a new way.”
Following the sermon the Conferral of Graduation Certificates took place as graduates were presented with their mentors by Porter Leggett and the certificates awarded by Archbishop Skelton to each graduate.
Paula Porter Leggett was the intercessor and the prayers included the Reverend Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles, her predecessor as Diocesan Coordinator who died August 1, 2017.
Congratulations to the 2018 graduates: Ken Pepin, Gail Berger and James Berger (mentor) of the Cathedral Groups located in Vancouver; Peter Lamb of St. Hilda’s, Sechelt who completed his studies by doing Year 4 online; Lesley Glover of St. Andrew’s, Langley who also did Year 4 of the four year program online.
For more information about EfM in the Diocese of New Westminster please visit the EfM page on the diocesan website.
- The Group Shot
- The Reverend Dr. Catherine Hall preaching
- Diocesan EfM Coordinator, the Reverend Paula Porter Leggett
- Composer, harpist, vocalist, the Reverend Clare Morgan