The Chrism Mass this morning was marvellous. It was rather weird because I was sitting exactly where I had sat for the Licensing of Youth Ministers last February. This was especially odd as I was there today to represent my fellow Licensed Youth Ministers and youth workers in the service of rededication. So when Bishop Richard asked
"Lay Ministers, when you were commissioned, you undertook to be faithful in prayer, and by word and example to minister to those for whom Christ died. Will you do all that is in your power to witness to God’s love for all people?
on behalf of us all I responded
BY THE HELP OF GOD WE WILL
And in receiving his blessing, I received it for all our ministries:
May the God of peace, sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful and he will accomplish it.
Consider your commitments renewed and your ministries blessed, everyone!
I also got to read the Old Testament reading about Samuel’s call. I read in church very often but of course in a cathedral FULL of clergy, including FOUR bishops, this is a little bit daunting. Nevertheless I followed the advice of my friend many years ago when I first began reading as a teenager. He said, "Sarah, when you’re reading, they ALL have to wait for YOU. You're in charge!" So despite some nerves I took great delight in a marvellously sonorous "SAMUEL!… SAMUEL!" echoing around the cathedral
A gathering of clergy and laity from across the diocese was also an opportunity to meet lots of people I haven’t seen in a while, including lots of deacons and students from the SAOMC and someone I haven’t spoken too since we worked together as teenagers on the young adult holiday called Springboard which the diocese of Oxford used to run as a kind of follow on from Yellow Braces.
Although he directed his sermon at the clergy, Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Reading delivered an excellent sermon for all the people gathered in the cathedral, (laity, clergy, vergers and other full time churchworkers, NSMs, parishioners and even one youth worker!) He talked about the joys and satisfactions of the Christian life and Christian ministry as well as the frustrations but one thing he said stuck with me. He said there’s a problem
“When the office becomes somewhere you go and work rather than something you say.”
Excellent point. Do we dedicate ourselves to saying the daily office/s (e.g. morning and eveing prayer) or do we focus on our daily office routine?