Tuesday, April 1, 2014

3rd Time is the Charm

Enough time has passed, that now I can tell the full tale.  My one worry, not my nervousness, but my worry, as we went into my third ordination (1st Baptist in May of 1996, 2nd Episcopal Deacon in July of 2013, and 3rd Priesthood on February 8) was would the power stay on.  Yes, in the United States in Richmond, I had concern about the power staying on.   This was not a developing nation.  It was a capitol city in a State of the United States of America.

My first ordination was on May 19, 1996.  It was held at the University of Richmond Cannon Memorial Chapel.  It is a gorgeous space, simple, but beautiful.  Upon arrival, we noticed the heat soaring, and found that there would be no air that day.  Not a bit, in a space with no windows to open in the beginning of a stifling summer.  I still remember those on the podium, academic gowns open, fanning themselves to keep from passing out.  It was still a stirring and powerful day, nonetheless, and had not thought about the power outage until...

My second ordination was at my home parish in the Episcopal Church, St. Andrew's on the historic Church Hill.  In our tradition, one is ordained a deacon, and this servant leader commissioning continues on into our priesthood.  The Right Reverend Susan E. Goff was presiding, and the power went off during the service.  A few hours later we learned that a squirrel met its demise a few blocks away in a transformer, bringing out fire trucks and Dominion Power crews.  Bishop Goff's husband joked that the devil tried his best to foul things up, and it did not work.  At least there was laughter and joy when the lights (and A.C.) came back on.

On the day of my third ordination, the power stayed on.  St. Thomas where I serve stayed lit and warm on February 8.  And, it feels like it took.  I can honestly say that I truly felt changed in response to my third ordination.  Apostolic succession?  Bishop and Episcopal clergy laying hands on me?  Whatever it was, it was strikingly different.  I guess the third time is the charm.

1 comment:

  1. as well it should...3 days with Lazarus to come from death to life...3 days from cross to resurrection...3 strikes and your out...3 feet in a yard...3 yards is too many to cut in one day...it works...and I lift you up as you serve...


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