This week, I would like to share three brief notes:
Update on Jeremiah Mustered
The first is a note of thanksgiving. Jeremiah Mustered, who most of you know, discerned a call in this parish to ordained ministry back in 2018. This means that he met with a group of folks from Holy Apostles who helped him listen to what God might be calling him to do. They ultimately felt that Jeremiah was called to be an ordained priest. The vestry and I agreed, and Jeremiah entered the diocesan ordination process. It is a long road. He met several times with the diocesan Commission on Ministry, took psychological exams, background checks, filled out reams of paperwork and various other such things, and for the last year has been a ministry intern at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore under the direction of their Rector, the Rev. Dr. Joel Daniels. Jeremiah even took an intensive theology class with Fr. Joel (who taught at General Seminary before coming St. George’s). Recently, Jeremiah has been made a Candidate for Holy Orders which is almost the last step before ordination, and in January, he took the General Ordination Exams. This is a test that everyone who is to be ordained a priest must take. It’s something of a rite of passage. It covers 6 areas: Scripture, Liturgy, Church History, Practical Ministry, Christian Ethics, and General Theology. Each area takes several hours to complete and the entire test is administered over the course of 3 days. When the results are scored, there are only two grades: Proficient or Not Proficient. Jeremiah just received his results: he scored Proficient on all 6! Congratulations, Jeremiah! Jeremiah will have two more interviews ahead of him, but, God willing and the people of our diocese consenting, Jeremiah will be ordained to the transitional diaconate this coming June!
On Sunday morning, you can pick up a booklet with all the information about this year’s Lenten offerings and information about all special services during Lent and Holy Week (see last week’s Rector’s Note). The booklet will also be available on online soon. There is one practice that I really want to lift up and encourage every member of the congregation (and all ages) to commit to for the 40 days of Lent. I would like everyone to pray the parish intercessions. This is made up of the parish prayer list, our ministry partners, institutions in our community (including schools), and all the streets around the church and that we all live on. All of this is divided into 7 short sections, one for each day. It will take you less than a minute each day to pray through this list. This is a practical, doable Lenten practice—even for those of us who are very busy—and I am positively sure that if we do this together it is going to have a positive impact on this parish and on each of us. You’ll find the February Parish Intercessions attached to the weekly Acts of the Apostles email, or in booklet form in the hallway. The March edition will be available next Sunday, March 1st.
If you were at the Annual Meeting, you heard me say that part of loving our neighbors and our neighborhood is caring for our culture. Our recent renovation of the parish hall and hallway gave us a great opportunity to do some of that. For a few weeks now, you’ve seen some lovely artwork hung in the office hallway and a sign which says “Apostles Gallery.” This “gallery space” will continue to be used to showcase art. Apostles Gallery exists to foster conversations, make connections, and help nurture the cultural and spiritual vitality of our community. Toward that end, in March we will be showcasing artwork that meditates on Jerusalem as the Holy City. The primary artist is Margaret Adams Parker, who is an established printmaker and sculptor with dozens of gallery shows, as well as museum exhibits and commissions by major institutions. We will celebrate our gallery exhibit with a wine and cheese reception on Saturday, March 7th at 6:30. This is a perfect event to invite your friends and neighbors to! For more information about our art exhibit and the gallery in general visit: holyapostlespa.org/gallery