Originally posted in the NE Region Weekly Check In: Ordinary Time in Un-ordinary Times:
I recently participated in the virtual service for ordinations to the deaconate held by our diocese on a long Saturday Zoom call. As I am discovering for most things in this pandemic time of being the church, there were things I missed, and things I appreciated.
I missed us all being together. I missed the opportunity to hug my newly ordained friends and pass the peace with those around me. I missed traveling to a church and then traveling home, rather than watching on Zoom while I made snacks for my kids and took the dog out.
And I appreciated the gift of space and time to sit with the ordination service, which is not one I know well. I mean, how many ordinations have you been to? The Sunday Eucharist, and now Morning Prayer, is a steady rhythm in my life: a familiar cadence of worship and prayer. This ordination service uses familiar order and words, and yet I fumbled through my Book of Common Prayer to find my place.
In a moment of space, I re-read what the Bishop addresses to the nominees at the Examination, specifically, “As a deacon in the Church, you are to study the Holy Scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them.” – BCP, 543
I talk a lot about actual, literal, food fueling us to do God’s work in the world through my discipline of Eating Liturgically. I call non-Feast, non-Fasting, days “Fierce Days” – days in which I fuel myself healthily and well to go out to do God’s work in the world. It struck me today that before listing all the many things a deacon is to do out in the world, we begin also with nourishment…not from food, but from scripture. From God’s Word.
Whether the source be food or Word, I like that we acknowledge, from the beginning of ordination, from the first decision we make of “what’s for breakfast?,” that it is not our own energy, our own willpower that does this work. It is our nourished self from God’s creation, from God’s word, that goes forth.
There are so many challenges ahead for us. For our churches, for our schools, for our society. I find myself excited at what God will do with us now that we are more malleable, and aware that being made malleable is exhausting. May we begin with nourishment from scripture, from distanced worship, from healthy food, from self-care, from relationships – and then go forth to be God’s hands and feet in this new world we find ourselves in. There are new deacons in our diocese to help, and there is us, the Church, following our baptismal covenant to show up, renounce evil and trust in Christ, together.