I will be ordained priest this coming Sunday, and so I thought I might share a word or two about my thoughts and feelings on the eve of this joyous occasion. Perhaps more than anything else, I find myself filled with hope – hope for our wonderful Anglican communion and hope for the larger church.
Many of you may not know this, but our Diocese of Toronto is ordaining no less than nine priests over these few months! I have gotten to know my colleagues and the process well over these last couple of years, from selection committees, regular gatherings at the synod office and the on-going training that is required of those wishing to enter holy orders. One does not walk this road alone; priestly formation is ongoing and takes place very much in community, a community comprised of lay and ordained folk alike. It is a community as diversified as the one outside our church walls. And I can happily say that we who are about to be ordained (or have been ordained very recently) are just as diversified. We hold different theological and social views, we are men and women, of varying ethnicity, some are lawyers and academics, others straight or gay. In short, we look like the folks who selected us – and we look like our neighbours. And I rejoice in this. And it gives me hope because it speaks to the wisdom and desire of our bishops, clergy and laity – that our church looks like those we serve.
We are a diverse community indeed, and this is a reason to celebrate. But as diverse as our Christian community is, we all share the values of love and respect for one another, and for all of Gods creation. I am hopeful and thankful because I have seen the effectiveness of applying these values, first hand. And I have faith in a church that will exhibit these same values to a world very much in need.