The Rev. Danielle Lepine and the Rev. Eric Kregel were ordained priests in the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jane Alexander, February 1, 2019, at All Saints’ Cathedral, Edmonton.
“We are people, in this day and age, called to be witnesses to God’s power and love in the world,” said the Very Rev. Neil Gordon, rector of All Saints’ and Dean of Edmonton, giving the Homily.
On the Eve of the Presentation of the Lord, he told the ordinands that, as Simeon was when presented with baby Jesus by Mary and Joseph at the temple, they, too, would be blessed to see the Messiah in the people and world around them.
Looking back over 30-plus years of ministry Gordon, who will resign as rector and dean in April, 2019, said one of the things he appreciates most about ministry, and that he did not immediately recognize, is that he has “seen God do a lot of great things.”
“You should not expect ministry to change you overnight,” he said. “You aren’t going to have superpowers. You’re going to wake up tomorrow and feel strangely the same. Everything is going to be as much as it’s always been. But, over the next 10, 20, 30 years, you’ll see remarkable things.”
The privilege and joy of joining couples in holy matrimony and baptising children and adults, “never grows old,” he said, and witnessing people say goodbye to their loved ones at funerals is “powerful.”
“As priests we are blessed to see God doing amazing things. So when it happens, be like Simeon, take hold of it and recognize what you’re seeing. Acknowledge when you see God at work in people’s lives and let them know: ‘God is in this place.’”
“A blessing on both of you, Danielle and Eric,” said Dean Gordon. “To see well and to help those you are with to see clearly; to witness and proclaim God in our lives. Amen.”
The Rev. Danielle Lepine
The Rev. Danielle Lepine says a lot has happened since she was ordained a deacon on January 25, 2018; “so many things for which I am beyond blessed: in my ministry, and in my life.”
Lepine says she is “overwhelmed” looking back on the past year and her ministry as assistant curate at Holy Trinity, Old Strathcona where she has received “great love and support from friends, family and members of her congregation.
“This first year has brought tremendous joy as I have engaged with the many amazing individuals within the walls of HTAC, as well as the amazing community that surrounds it. I have been so blessed that the parish has opened their arms to me, that the congregation hasn’t thrown me from the pulpit, and that I have been graced with an amazing mentor/teacher who always has time to sit, drink coffee, teach and engage me in deeper theological explorations.
“There have also been tremendous areas for personal growth. Holy Trinity has a mandate of “Making Christ Visible through the Arts,” and my strong skills would most definitely not fall under the category of arts. The children and youth will be the first to let everyone know that I can’t draw a stick person to save my life. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket (and we sing every week here!), and you don’t want to read my poetry… But this community is loving and supportive, eager to help me grow, and enthusiastic to let me lead. This last year has been amazing, to say the least.
“With everything that has happened by the grace of God, I have had the most tremendous support system, my family, to fall back on. My parent’s encouragement never ceases to inspire me; and my children, Jory, Paul and Emily, with their eager participation in the church, regularly sets mu soul on fire daily. Being able to lead a community in their faith journey, while still being able to dedicate time to being a mother has sustained me and continues to motivate me onwards.
“One of my passions in ministry is working with and developing programming and events for the youth of our parish and inviting youth throughout our diocese to join us. Over the past 10 years, I have been able to spend countless evenings having fun, talking about life, exploring the Bible, and encouraging the youth to live their faith beyond Sunday services. Our young people bring so much energy to congregations and they bring so much life and light to the teachings of the church - they are inspirational. I do hope that in the future, along with other areas of ministry, I will still have plenty of opportunity to work with and engage the youth of our diocese. These young people are the church of today, not the church of tomorrow, and they are worth the investment of our time, resources and energy.”
The Rev. Eric Kregel
“This parish has been very patient, gracious and forgiving to me as this ex-Baptist learns the ropes of Anglicanism,” said the Rev. Eric Kregel, who was ordained a deacon on August 24, 2018, and is currently serving as priest-in-charge of St. George’s, Fort Saskatchewan. “God has really shown up for me in the simple confessions, the weekly rituals. And it's been neat seeing God at work in the lives of those who faithfully attend St. George.
“I love seeing how people are changed by the liturgy, the preaching, and everything that goes into the eucharistic liturgy. Whenever I can tie the words and prayers into something personal, I try to do. My dream of leading a parish from the altar to the neighbourhood is actualized when those who have received communion go out into their neighbourhood and change it for the better. During my brief six months as deacon, we've been working with my friends at Fusion Canada to explore these ideas and make our faith a lot more dynamic.
“This parish has a long and steady history of providing meals and festivals for the neighbourhood. For example, on the first day of school, we served coffee and muffins to parents using our parking lot. In October, St. George’s marked Men's Mental Wellness Month by teaming up with the Fort Saskatchewan Hospital and the local Ministerial Association to host a BBQ dinner and guest speaker, and we welcomed our neighbours for an Oktoberfest festival. Then, on Remembrance Day, I was invited to lead the prayers at the community wreath laying and Christian service. Leading up to the Christmas season we handed out hot chocolate during the town Santa Claus Parade and, afterwards, the ACW hosted a luncheon. This was followed by our Christmas Seniors’ Luncheon for people who are shut-in or stuck at home for the holidays. Christmas Eve Messy Church was a big party where kids could take their pictures with the town's sheep (stuffed animals).
“My work, for the first few months, has been to try to make these events a bit more simple and relational. It's fairly easy to fall into the trap of getting caught up in the production of the event and miss actually being in relationship with those who come. I'm hopeful that St. George's future will be less event-driven and look more like relationship-building in the neighbourhood. My hope and goal is that God would use my office of priest to share His grace. For further reading, please follow my blog: https://ericjkregel.wordpress.com.
“I'd like to thank all of the parishes and priests that have helped me out during this season. When I attended mid-week eucharists to have our Sunday bread and wine consecrated, I was warmly welcomed.”