St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Edmonton celebrated a new season of ministry and its warm connections with the surrounding community at the induction service of the Rev. Lorne Manweiler on November 6, 2019.
Throughout the service, all those in attendance had some part to play. St. Timothy’s choir, directed by Pamela Graham, called the community to worship with an anthem titled “For Such a Time as This” and shared two other anthems through the course of the evening. People’s Warden, Diann Bowes brought the Old Testament reading from the book of Joel. Then Rev. Lorne called on the children to lead the responsive reading of Psalm 112. Their part was to shout “Praise the Lord!” at the start and end, which they did with gusto. Rector’s Warden, Margaret Wiznura read from Romans for the New Testament reading and the Rev. John Gee, Honourary Deacon at St. Tim’s, read the Gospel from Luke 14:25-33.
In her sermon, the Rev. Danielle Lepine recalled the gasp that escaped her when she first saw the Gospel reading, and the frantic text she sent to Rev. Lorne to say, “Are you serious? For your induction?!” The passage from Luke is extremely challenging:
“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26, 27
Rev. Danielle explained that her sermon preparation led her to understand that Jesus is not using the word hate the way we do in our culture, but rather…
“Jesus is saying you have to choose; I have to choose. Is it Jesus we are following? Because if we are following Jesus, things might get really uncomfortable, challenging, and difficult. In fact, I can guarantee everyone here tonight that if we all truly choose Jesus, things will get uncomfortable, challenging, and difficult.
The beautiful thing is, when one chooses to follow Christ, to love Jesus more than all others, to put God first, you find that all other relationships are enriched and just work!
It turns out that though there is a cost – and that cost can be anything from money, time, talent, to important relationships with others – there is also a payoff. And that payoff is life as you could never have experienced it or imagined it without faith, full of richness – not riches, but richness – vibrancy, love, laughter, amazing adventure. It’s a choice to life; a life that is full of an abundance of forgiveness, grace, deep peace, hope, and above all love. All things that you at St. Timothy’s and Lorne will experience as you work together.”
Executive Archdeacon, the Ven. Alan Perry, read out the official license, after which Bishop Jane Alexander led the Covenant in Ministry, in which Rev. Lorne vowed his commitment to the ministry at St. Timothy’s, and parishioners and other supporters, their commitment to him. Then members of the church family presented the symbols of ministry in turn:
- Parishioner Justin Eifert presented a bible, calling on Rev. Lorne to be a "preacher of the word of God and teacher of the faith."
- The Appleyard, Lang and Mudage families presented a pitcher of water, calling him to be "one who baptizes into the community of Christ."
- Peter Johnson presented the oil, calling him to be a "reconciler and healer."
- Jackie and Pam Gaskin presented the canons of the diocese, that "our administration may serve Christ and His Gospel and not just ourselves."
- Rector’s Warden, Margaret Wiznura and People’s Warden, Diann Bowes presented the keys to the church, that "the doors of this place be open to everyone."
- Richard and Ilene Larson, with Ken and Marylou Havens presented a Prayer Book, that Rev. Lorne might "be among us as a person of prayer."
- Joyce Sharum and Mary Paul of the Altar Guild presented bread and wine, that he might "be among us to break the bread and bless the cup."
The presentation of each symbol, the invitation to join in ministry from Rev. Lorne, and the response from all the people, created a true sense that “we’re all in this together.”
The Bishop’s invitation to welcome, as she presented the newly inducted Rev. Lorne, was met with resounding applause and followed by a beautiful offering of the Prayers of the People, by Rena Whistance-Smith.
A less common, yet deeply meaningful addition to the service was time reserved at the end, after the Celebration of the Eucharist, for members of the community to bring greetings.
- Lori Sigurdson, MLA for Edmonton-Riverview, commented on the way every member had been involved in the ceremony; that it shows St. Tim’s knows how to create community. And she commended the parish on its mission statement, with its focus on diversity and inclusiveness.
- Karen Wilk, President of the Laurier Heights Community League, said she looks forward to seeing how the Spirit moves St. Tim’s to contribute its gifts to the community, and offered the local newsletter to be added to the symbols of ministry.
- Wendy King spoke on behalf of the Canterbury Foundation as its Executive Director. The rectors of St. Timothy’s and Christ Church Edmonton are honourary members of the board at the Canterbury Foundation. King thanked them, along with Canterbury Court Chaplain, the Rev. Joanne Webster, for their service to the 300 seniors who make their home at Canterbury Lane, Court, or Manor, and for keeping the foundation connected to its Anglican roots.
- Two speakers were invited in celebration of the full communion between the Anglican Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the growing movement towards communion with the Moravian Church. The Rev. Anna Thede brought greetings from Hosanna Lutheran Church and the Rev. James Lavoy from Rio Terrace Moravian Church, both located within 10 minutes’ drive of St. Tim’s. Rev. James said that as his friendship with Rev. Lorne has grown, he has appreciated his “willingness to say ‘yes’ as he embraces his neighbours with faith, hope and love.”
As always, fellowship followed formalities, with treats and a chance to enjoy each other's company in the downstairs hall.