Celebration of a New Ministry in Cloverdale

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Bishop Melissa Skelton installed the Reverend Grant Rodgers as vicar (1/2 time) of Christ the Redeemer, Surrey. The Reverend Grant Rodgers maintains his position at Vancouver School of Theology as Director of Anglican Formation.

There was a very good turnout for the liturgy, particularly among the clergy cohort. Prayer was on the minds of many that evening as the results of the US presidential election were coming in.

The preacher for the Eucharist, was the Archdeacon of Fraser, the Venerable Stephen Rowe.

Archdeacon Stephen made some timely references to the presidential election and developed a bit of a hockey theme as Reverend Grant Rodgers has played some hockey in his time, earning the sobriquet, "The Fighting Father". In response to that nickname, Archdeacon Stephen said:
"This tells us something important about Grant: he is passionate in what he does, he isn’t afraid to stare down difficult situations, and doesn’t give up easily.

I am not suggesting it needs to be made clear, that he has come to fight with the people of Christ the Redeemer, but that he will fight to work with you to ensure that mission and ministry grows, develops and thrives in this place.

As our gospel reading tells us: the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; so part of prayer tonight is that people of this parish will use their gifts and encourage others from the local community, but not yet part of this church congregation, to come and use theirs too. So we are bidden to pray that God will send labourers into God’s harvest. As
it is also a reminder that all mission and ministry is done in God’s strength and by the grace that God give us, not according to our determination. We need to remember that nothing will come of our work unless we pray and ask God to guide and direct our gifts and offerings.
This parish has great potential, set as it is amidst a thriving and growing community. The church is situated at the heart of where people live and work. It has the opportunity to be a beacon of light and welcome, as people make sense of their complex and complicated lives"
As Archdeacon Rowe moved toward the summation of his homily he made reference to the words of the prophet Jeremiah heard earlier when Jeremiah "reminds us that being born a human being isn’t some random act, rather that God has intentions and purpose for us throughout our lives. The exciting part of that is that our purpose is only slowly revealed to us as we move through our lives." He then made reference to the words of the prophet Isaiah who revealed this message from God, "Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine (Isaiah 43 v1)". He then quipped, "Of course Grant with his name, has a head start when it comes to calling by God and especially when it comes to prayers. Have you ever noticed how often Grant gets a mention in the prayers of the church? Some sets of prayers in fact all start with reference to his name. "

A text copy of Archdeacon Rowe's sermons is available here

The Parish of Christ the Redeemer has undergone a number of changes and challenges in recent years including the departure of their last rector, the Reverend Craig Vance in 2014. However, the parish was fortunate to have the Reverend Paul Borthistle as the interim ordained leader of their shared ministry, a ministry role he continued until his retirement at the end of the summer of 2016.

And now with the arrival of an experienced and respected priest, the parish has an opportunity to embrace this new beginning. To go with energy and renewed confidence out into their neighbourhood, the Holy Spirit filling the community, leadership and the Reverend Rodgers with purpose and commitment.

With these words, Archdeacon Stephen Rowe concluded his sermon, "May God bless and guide you in all you do together for the common good, for one another to further and enhance the community here that bears and proclaims the name of Christ."

IMAGE

  • Bishop Skelton leads the welcoming applause
  • Archdeacon Stephen Rowe preaching
  • Executive Archdeacon the Venerable Douglas Fenton explains the process by which the new vicar was chosen
  • The Peace
  • Receiving the Oil of Chrism during the Presentation of the Symbols of Ministry
  • The Eucharist.

For more photographs and captions please visit Anglican Conversation the Facebook pages of the Diocese of New Westminster.