Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrations, Firsts, and Reunions

Such a blessing this week to see a vibrant cross-section of the Church in mission, worship, and celebration.

On Sunday, I joined the 40th anniversary of Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries (EAM) celebration at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. As secretary of EAM Council from 2004-2006, I had a very gracious glimpse of the collaboration and mutual support that binds together numerous ministries with Asian-Americans and immigrant communities from all over Asia. The faithful, vibrant diversity of this part of The Episcopal Church filled Grace Cathedral with song, dance, and hope in Christ, and what a blessing it was to be reunited with old friends and kindling new friendships!

On Wednesday, I flew to Minneapolis to join The Rev. Jason Lucas in celebrating his ordination to the priesthood. Church of Our Saviour walked with him in his formation for two years as he served with us first as seminarian intern and then part of our clergy staff. In several additional joys during my brief visit to Minneapolis, I greeted the Bishop of Minnesota, The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior, who himself was a seminarian intern at Church of Our Saviour when Murray Hammond was Rector; Jason’s beloved husband, Matthew Johnson, was ordained to the vocational diaconate along with a dozen others in an historic expansion of the ministry of deacons in the Diocese of Minnesota; and Toua Vang was the first priest in the Anglican Communion ordained out of the Hmong community.

Our prayers, love, and abiding fellowship in Christ remain with them all!

A glimpse of the Presiding Bishop as she prepares to process at the EAM 40th anniversary celebration eucharist on June 23rd at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Her moving sermon linked the immigrant experience with the spiritual journey of all Christians into the kingdom that Christ promises.
Bishop Marc Andrus blesses the water in the baptismal font to open the beautiful liturgy.
A dragon dance joins the recessional.
A Gregorian and a Franciscan. . . Br. Ambrose, originally from Japan, now resides with the Franciscan community in Los Angeles.

The EAM Japanese Convocation, including The Rev. Stina Pope (far-right), the Vicar of Christ Church - Sei Ko Kai, San Francisco, where I served for four years, grab a shashin with the Presiding Bishop. Joining the convocation this year was the Bishop of Tokyo, The Rt. Rev. Andrew Yoshimichi Ohata.
In Minneapolis, enjoying a nice dinner with Jason Lucas and Matthew Johnson on the eve of their ordinations.
Breck School Chapel, the largest Episcopalian worship space in the Diocese of Minnesota. Ordaining 17 people to the sacred orders of priests and deacons on June 27th filled the place to overflowing!
The four ordinands for priesthood, including The Rev. Toua Vang receive instruction during the rehearsal.
A happy chance meeting with Sr. Laurie Joseph BSG, while we wait for the ordination liturgy to begin.
Toua Vang stands as he is presented by his sponsoring parish, Holy Apostles', St. Paul, and his sponsoring clergy.
Jason signs his declaration of ordination vows. . .
The ordinands pray during the litany.
The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior delivers the sermon.
Jason and Matthew ordained!
The newly ordained in the Diocese of Minnesota.
Habemus sacerdotum!

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