Friday, September 27 2019
O Magnify the LORD with me,
There are moments, dates, and times in life that mark milestones and significant transitions. Sometimes we know it in the moment but often times it is in reflecting back that we realize “that was the day.” In early 2013, Bishop Provenzano and Father Shin, knowing I lived in Queens, asked me if Huntington would be too far for me to travel on Sundays. I told them I would start walking on Saturday to get there if I had to! April 21, 2013 was my first Sunday at St. John’s. I did not know in the moment that it was the day I had been set on a new path.
What was to be a brief experience lasting just a few months transformed into an amazing journey of over six years. Father Shin became Bishop Shin. Father Duncan brought energy and new vision. There are now exciting and life changing ministries that are visible examples of what members and friends of St. John’s are doing right here and around the world.
During this time, you all have faithfully journeyed with me in discernment and formation to become a priest. The moment from deacon to ordained ministry as priest happened on Saturday, September 14. Words cannot express to you my gratitude, thankfulness, and love to each one of you for allowing me to explore God’s call in my life with you. Your encouragement, support, and love not only allowed space for God to work in me, but also allowed God to work in you. I truly believe this is, in part, because we have committed to magnify the Lord and we have exalted his name together.
During the Ordination service at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, representatives of St. John’s and St. Augustine’s joined to present me to Bishop Provenzano for ordination to the priesthood. This was more than a formality; it was more than symbolic. The presenters literally presented a part of themselves and the congregations with me as being those who recognized God’s call in me, formed me, presented me, and then willingly receive me back in a new way for a new ministry. It feels something like a parent releasing their child to live on their own as an adult. It is exciting and joyful to transition to a new and different ministry, but with excitement and joy come some moments of discomfort as our relationship in this place shifts. But God is doing and will continue to do more in us than we can ask or imagine.
I am so happy and encouraged that the worship, work, ministries, and events we have begun with St. Augustine’s will continue. I am grateful for the vision our congregations have to journey together in ministry and I am thankful to be with you in it! Let us continue in what has already begun. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
To God be the Glory!