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Ruth,

You will notice in the top corners of this icon two angelic beings. Angels are messengers of the divine. They remind us that the hidden mystery we call “God” does speak.

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Ruth,

There are not many things I believe a priest must do. But there is one practice of priesthood which for me has proved to be non-negotiable.  It is the practice that has enabled me to prosper in priesthood for nearly four decades.

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Dear Ruth,

Nearly a year and a half ago, I wrote you a letter that I posted on this blog. The occasion then was your ordination as a deacon in the Anglican Church of Canada. Today I write to you again, this time as you are ordained a priest.

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Dear Tracey,

Thirty-nine years ago last month I stood up in St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto with eleven other young men and women to do what you are doing this morning – or I suppose by now, have already done.

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I was ordained a priest thirty-eight years ago.

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The problem with priesthood is that there are times when the awareness of Presence that is essential to fulfilling the role of priest, is simply mysteriously missing, leaving barely a whisper or a trace.

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The problem with priesthood, as with most of life, is the problem of awareness. In order to have any hope of fulfilling my primary function as a priest pointing to the hidden Presence of the Divine, I need to be ware of this Presence. But, of course like every person, I am at times deeply unaware.

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The problem with priesthood is that the goal is so distant and failure so near at hand.

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It didn’t really seem to fit anywhere else; it seldom fits anywhere comfortably. So I am just randomly tacking it on here after Parts 1 & 2. The awkward issue is $$$$.

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The service in which I was ordained a priest in Winnipeg, Manitoba 38 years ago serves as a fitting symbol of the shattering changes that were about to shake the church in which I and those with whom I was ordained would be called to minister.

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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

Pre-April 2010 posts: http://inaspaciousplace.blogspot.com/

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