Friday, December 16, 2011
Today is one of the Winter Ember Days. The Ember Days happen near the transition from one season to another four times a year. They developed as times of penitential prayer at these seasonal changes in a society which was largely rural and agricultural. The impulse was simply to offer to God the work of the season ahead, beseeching God's blessing. They date back to at least the 5th century.
No one knows exactly why, but from their beginning they were also thought of as appropriate times for ordination. So today, if you look in our Prayer Book for prayers for this day, you will find them as prayers "For Ministry," and, of course, in our day we know that means the ministry of all baptized people, not just the ordained.
Nevertheless, this is a good time to pause and pray for the ordained among us, for those preparing for ordination, and for the continued raising up of people for the ordained ministry.
So I ask your prayers for our Bishop, Prince, as well as our retired bishops, Jack and William.
And I ask your prayers for myself, for John, our deacon, Mary Ann, the rector of St. Stephen's, and for the other clergy who are part of our community: Sandy Cordingley, Phil Schaefer, Peter Peters, Carolyn Lumbard, and Dennis Wienk.
And I ask your prayers for Cheryl Frank, who is in the process of applying to be a postulant for ordination, having been nominated by myself and your Vestry.
And I ask your prayers for Michael Laver, who is in the discernment process, working with a committee of folks from both Two Saints and St. Stephen's.
Thanks, and I will pray for you and your ministry, too.