We arrived at the Water Tower Inn at 3:30 and checked in. Then, it was off to the Synod office beside the Cathedral of St. Luke to register for the big event!! After a lovely dinner at the Delta Hotel (with a fabulous view across the water) we walked back to the Cathedral where Rachel, Derek (our summer intern) and Aidan (the MacGregor Bay intern) took their pew and I vested for a very long (and very, very hot) ordination service.
It was a BCP service and was excellent. The Ven. Peter Smyth (Algoma) was the emcee and +Stephen presided. Primate Fred Hiltz is with us all week as our Bible Study leader. Tonight, he gave the sermon–a rousing reflection on mission, which embodied all that was best about the Anglican tradition–Gospel proclamation issuing in works of justice and mercy–and all that is, um, not so best–Gospel proclamation is works of justice and mercy. This is a hard balance for the very best homilists to strike and I do not wish to judge the Primate too harshly. For the weakness is not his, but is woven through Anglican piety. It is our besetting sin. Ah, “til we shall build Jerusalem in [Canada’s] green and pleasant land.” A hymn sadly Pelagian from top to bottom all-too-accurately expresses what happens when Anglicans go theologically wobbly.
I am grateful to the Primate for his emphasis on mission, however, and thrilled that Gospel proclamation did indeed make it into his homily. For that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. Without the preaching of the crucified and risen Lord, ascended to the right hand of the Father as the King of the Universe, we really are just the Kinsmen in fancy dress.
This was my first Book of Common Prayer Ordination. What a heavy service in every stretch! (A huge thanks to James Mosher, our newest Deacon, who asked for a BCP service. A King’s College Halifax man, this can hardly be surprising). The charges to James and Charlene were weighty and appropriately reflected the challenges of the ministries to which they are now ordained. I found myself at once wishing that I could have been charged with those words back in 2009-10 and wondering whether, had I been, I could have gone through with the rest of the service. It really was powerful!
The business begins tomorrow with a full agenda of largely “house-keeping” motions that will tidy up some canons and hopefully make them consistent. We’ll see if anything interesting comes from the floor. I’m on the resolutions committee so you’ll know soon enough!
Hey, follow us on Facebook, whether on my page or at Epiphany Sudbury, and keep abreast of things on Twitter, @RevTimPerry. Everything will be under the hashtag, #AlgomaSynod2015. Shaping up to be a good time.
In all seriousness, please pray for us as we seek to discern God’s will for our Diocese as we end one strategic plan and enter into a year of Thanksgiving under the theme “Lift Up Your Hearts.” Pray especially for the Epiphany delegates, Gilles and Remi, who are thrilled to be here, but nervous too.