Transfiguring ministries on a Sunday afternoon

by Hollis Hiscock

They braved freezing rain and slippery roads.

Their whistles echoed off Cathedral walls.

They listened, prayed, sang and made promises.

They applauded, signed documents and laid on hands.

They worshipped for over 120 minutes on the Feast of the Transfiguration — Sunday, February 11, 2018 — in Christ’s Church Cathedral Hamilton.

When it was over Niagara Diocese was enriched with one deacon, one priest, one Archdeacon, one lay canon and three clergy canons.

Lionel priested
Following the ancient tradition, the bishops and priests lay hands on the Reverend Leonel Abaroa-Boloña (centre of picture), ordaining him a priest in God’s church. Photo: Hollis Hiscock

The preacher ended his homily by reminding his listeners that those “who witness us living the Christian path say of you — and of all of us: ‘How vibrant and beautiful is the faith glowing around us.’”

The Reverend Canon Gary van der Meer, Incumbent of St. Anne’s Toronto, began his sermon by describing the present day conflicting cultures and messages which can sometimes cause storms of resistance injustices. Yet, “This is the culture we all live and breathe, and this is the world into which the church ordains.”

Gary 1
The Reverend Gary van der Meer, Incumbent of St. Anne’s Toronto, preached at the transfiguring worship. Photo: Barbara Harris

He suggested that people, including those ordained, put aside their own story for a while and be like John the Baptist, who pointed others to Jesus Christ.

Gary said we should be like Jesus who was “patient with this slow journey to belief.” This includes dealing with the couple seeking to be married and promises to join your church.

“Then there’s that look. They know you don’t believe them, and you know they know.”

We need to see the light of the transfiguration in other people, was Gary’s recommendation. “Having had your own story scrutinized, let’s be a breath of fresh air welcoming the stories of others.”

Gary was recently appointed Interfaith Officer for Toronto Diocese.

The Reverend Garfield (Weiliang) Wu is Deacon-in-Charge of St. Aidan’s Oakville (half-time basis), as well as Assistant Curate at St. Simon’s Oakville and Chinese Anglican Missioner for Oakville (half-time basis), under the direction of St. Simon’s Rector Darcey Lazerte.

Garfield 1
Bishop Michael lays his hands on the head of Garfield (Weiliang) Wu, ordaining him a deacon in the Church of God. Photo: Hollis Hiscock

The newly ordained priest, the Reverend Leonel Abaroa-Boloña, continues as Ministry Associate at St. John the Evangelist Hamilton and Church of the Ascension Hamilton.

Canons 2
The newly installed Canons are layperson Patricia (Pat) Davis (second from left) and clergy the Reverends Stephanie Pellow, Matthew Griffin and Bill Mous. Photo: Hollis Hiscock

Patricia (Pat) Davis was installed as a lay honourary canon of Christ’s Church Cathedral, along with clergy the Reverends Stephanie Pellow, Matthew Griffin and Bill Mous. They were appointed by Bishop Michael at the 2017 Niagara Synod.

David
Dean Peter Wall read the documents to collate the Venerable David Anderson as Regional Archdeacon of Hamilton-Haldimand. Diocesan Registrar the Reverend Paul Whitehouse and Bishop Michael witnessed the installation. Photo: Hollis Hiscock