This ministry belongs to us all
A message from Fr. Scott
As most of you are probably aware, on Friday July 26 - the Feast of St. Ann - I was formally installed as rector of St. Ann’s by the bishop of Chicago in the presence of a large gathering, a gathering which included both members of St. Ann’s and representatives of the larger diocese. During this service, following the rite prescribed by the bishop, three symbols were presented to the new rector of the parish by parish members: a bible, holy oil, and bread and wine.
When the bible was presented on behalf of the congregation by Rev. Lynn White and Vic Chudoba, I was invited to join St. Ann’s in the ministry of “telling the Good News to the world.” When the holy oil was presented on behalf of the congregation by Nadine Francione and Barbara Needleman, I was invited to join St. Ann’s and “bring the reconciling presence of Christ to those who seek healing.” Finally, when the bread and wine were presented by Ruth Cotton and Jennifer Loacker, I was invited to bless the gifts of bread and wine to “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
The bible, holy oil, bread and wine. These basic symbols are at the core of what we do as a community. So it was important, it was essential even, that those symbols were presented to the new rector by members of the congregation as a sign that the priest is joining in the already-existing, already-thriving, ministries of this church. This ministry belongs to us all, because we all become ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the moment we are baptized. There is no priest without the gathered body of the faithful, and there is no ministry that does not require the support of the whole congregation. We are in this together.
So I write today to thank you for the ministry that has been happening at St. Ann’s for more than 80 years, ministry that didn’t start with this rector and won’t end with this rector. I write to thank you for inviting me and my family to join in this ministry with you. I thank you for the welcome you have given us, I thank you for celebrating this new ministry on July 26, and I thank you for the chance to serve Jesus Christ with you.
This ministry is all of ours. Thank you for sharing it. Now let’s get to work.