i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

On Sunday October 2, 2011, I joined my Canterbury family to serve as a Deacon for the first and last time. It was a time for joy and celebration, but also sadness. That’s me up there, serving as the Gospeller for the first time. The Gospel for the day was Matthew 21:33-46. And while I may not look so happy in that particular photo, I was truly full of joy. Check out this shot from the Celebration Coffee Hour. 



My Canterbury family has provided tremendous support for me on this journey. I don’t think I would have made it to this smiling photo if not for them. Through prayers, love, and financial support they raised me up and got me through school. They helped me find joy in worship and service. And when I dreamed big dreams, they were always ready to go along for the ride. 


And then there are these guys:



This is a fair contingent of my acolyte corps. These guys were always ready to serve. And at this special Coffee Hour, they took it upon themselves to raise money for Canterbury’s Meals on Wheels ministry. It has been a great joy to watch them grow.


Canterbury is an unique church. Both parish and college ministry. One of the things that we do best is recreating ourselves every Fall as new students come in. We work to support and love them. And after a few months or years we send them off into the world.


It is now my time to go into the world. I am sad to be leaving, but I have been made ready for my work of love and service because of my Canterbury family. When I think of leaving my Canterbury family, I keep coming back to a line from an e.e. cummings poem: “i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart).” I know that no matter where I go, I will carry the heart full of love that I found at Canterbury with me. I will carry each person, each moment, each moment of joy and of sadness with me. And I know, just like I have told students as they have left to go on to new adventures, that I always have a home at Canterbury. It is just a phone call away. 


I am humbled by the love and support Canterbury has given me. I say thank you to them all. And I also vow to go into the world, carrying Canterbury with me, to do the work that Canterbury has raised me up to do. 


i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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New Journey Begins!

That’s me up there. The one giving Communion, wearing the striped red stole, and looking rather pleased with myself. Today was the culmination of several years of work and of twists and turns in my path. Today I was ordained a Deacon in the Episcopal Church.

The Diocese of Alabama pulled out all the stops for the new class of Deacons. We were a baker’s dozen. Every seat in the Cathedral was filled. The Church did what the Episcopal Church is very good at, which is liturgy. Each Candidate was presented. Prayers were said and scripture read. Bishop Sloan preached a sermon that was full of joy and laughter. Then the Candidates went forward again, this time as a class. We knelt together, and one by one the Bishops laid their hands on us. And when we stood again we were Deacons.

Before I went forward to be ordained, I looked down the long pew and saw all the folks that I love and that love me sitting there. Genevieve & Graham, Mom, Dad, and Uncle Ken, Drew & Allison, Jon and other friends. I carried with me the prayers of those friends and family that could not be there. I also carried with me three very special things. My grandparents are all deceased, except my MeeMaw, and I wanted something of them with me. The Book of Common Prayer I carried was given to me by my grandmother Christine, I wore a ring with the family crest that my granddaddy Charles was so proud of, and in my prayerbook I carried a picture of my grandmother BeBe, her high school graduation picture.

It was a glorious day, and I don’t think I have stopped smiling since. I am beginning a wonderful new journey. Maybe not so much a new journey and a turn in the road of a journey I have been on for a while.

So here we go . . .