Monday, October 31, 2011

It's 10:00 the next morning, and God's Grace Abounds . . .

and I have to get up, because I'm starving.

Yesterday afternoon was filled with moments of grace.

The Lovely Daughter sang beautifully in memory of her brother.

A full choir sang gloriously throughout the service.

The sermon was magnificent; classic Edwin van Driel.  

The charges, to the newly-ordained (that was me!) and to my new congregation, were also wonderful.

It was my complete joy to celebrate communion and to serve members of my family and friends ~ many of us hugging and in tears.

Surely God is with us all.

PS: Michelle Francl photos to follow, eventually.  (Top one added later.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ordination Bulletin ~ Gratitude Page

Much gratitude to . . . 

My husband who, when I said, “You thought you were marrying a lawyer,” responded, “Things change.”
Our three children, who have brought ~ yes, terrible sorrow, but also ~ indescribable joy into our lives
My extended family, both Craig and Williams sides ~ and most especially my father for a lifetime of love and care, and my brother David, who called every single day during the darkest of months
Our Koinonia and Porch People Friends with whom we have shared the laughter and tears of the past quarter-century
Our churches, Forest Hill, Presbyterian and Church of the Saviour (United Methodist) – pastors, staff, members, visitors, and everyone connected with them in any way, and also my new friends from University Circle Methodist Church and from InterAct Cleveland
Friends, teachers, professors, staff, colleagues, and students at Fuchs Mizrachi School, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Cindy! ~ we could not have done this without one another), The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, The Old Stone Church, The Ignatian Spirituality Institute, and John Carroll University
The Ursuline Sisters of Brown County, The Carmelite Sisters of Cleveland Heights, and The Society of Jesus, and all connected to all of them, most especially Sister Agatha Fitzgerald, O.S.U.,   and Fathers Howard Gray, S.J., Paul Panaretos, S.J., and William Sneck, S.J.
The LIP-ers, the RevGals, and everyone else out there who has extended friendship via the written word and the internet, and via real mail (Michelle!) and gifts of glass and mosaic
Very most especially, all of the mothers who have survived the loss of beautiful and precious children  ~ Chris of Cleveland Heights and Chris of Mentor Headlands, Gal of Cincinnati, Mary of Chicago, Laura of Dayton, Karen East and Karen West ~ love to you all; you are courageous and generous and truly women of valor, and I am proud to count you among my friends
The staffs and CPMs and COMs of the Presbyteries of the Western Reserve and Muskingum Valley
All the people who have newly appeared and those who have re-appeared in my life in the past two months of unexpected challenge
Our new community:  the congregation of Nankin Federated Church
And all who have participated in this Service of Ordination.

                                                                        ~ AMDG

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ordination Service ~ Musical Moments

Music During Communion 
               Hymn No. 521    congregation, please sing refrain             “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart”
               “These Alone are Enough”   choir
                Hymn No. 106    all sing                                                 “Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Give Thanks”
Prayer after Communion
God of grace, you have renewed us at our table with the bread of life. May this food strengthen us in love and help us to serve you in each other. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

   Going Forth to Live as God’s People
*  Closing Hymn No. 220
“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”
*  Commission and Blessing
*  Choral Benediction                                                                      Northfield School Benediction
    Postlude                                                                                             J. S. Bach
“In Thee Is Gladness”

Musical Notes
The Choral Introit is being sung in loving memory of Josh Williams; the soloist is his sister, Marissa Williams.
The lyrics of “These Alone Are Enough” are based upon the Suscipe, a prayer at the end of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  The soloist is Beth Zych of the Forest Hill Chancel Choir.

Ordination Service: The Beginning

(Sorry about the margins - difficult to transfer from the bulletin to Blogger - gave up and took out the names.)

Service of Ordination of
Mary Robin Craig
to the
Ministry of Word and Sacrament
Celebration of Holy Communion
October 30, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 
~ John 4: 13-14

Large print editions of the Bible, the Hymnal, and today’s bulletin as well as
hearing devices are available from the ushers on request.

   Prayer of Preparation
For your Spirit woven into the fabric of creation, for the eternal overlapping with time, and for the life of earth interlaced with heaven's vitality, for your untamed creativity, your boundless mystery, and your passionate yearnings planted deep in the soul of every human being, we give you thanks.                         (from J. Philip Newell's Celtic Benediction)

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
Choral Introit
“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”
   Greeting Our God with Joy
 Call to Worship                                                                                                               
Leader:     In the beginning, before time, before people, before the world began,
People:     God was.
Leader:     Here and now among us, beside us, enlisting the people of earth for the purposes of heaven,
People:     God is.
Leader:     In the future, when we have turned to dust, and all we know has found its fulfillment,
People:     God will be.
Leader:     Not denying the world but delighting in it, not understanding the world, but redeeming it, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
People:     God was, God is, God will be.                          (from the Iona Community Worship Book)
*  Processional  Hymn No. 138
“Holy! Holy! Holy!  Lord God Almighty!”

   Renewing Our Relationship with God
Prayer of Confession                                                                                                       
O God, gladly we live and move and have our being in you.  Yet always in the midst of this creation-glory, we see sin’s shadow and feel death’s darkness: around us in the earth, sea and sky, the abuse of matter; beside us in the broken, the hungry and the poor, the betrayal of one another; and often, deep within us, a striving against your spirit.  O Trinity of love, forgive us that we may forgive one another, heal us that we may be people of healing, and renew us that we also may be makers of peace.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(from the Iona Community Worship Book)
A Time of Silent Confession
Kyrie eleison  (Lord, have mercy)                                                                                    

   Affirming the Good News in Our Lives
 Assurance of Pardon                                                                                           
* Gloria, Gloria No. 576  
Gloria, Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, Gloria, alleluia, alleluia!
2nd time, men begin;  women begin 2 measures later;
Children and youth begin 2 measures after that.
* Passing of the Peace
   Opening Our Hearts to God’s Word
Prayer for Illumination                                                                                                 
 Scripture Lessons
        Psalm 139: 1-18                                                                                                          
        Romans 8: 18-25, 31-34                                                                                              
        John 4: 1-26                                                                                                              
               After the readings                                                                                                                    
               Leader:         Hear what the Holy Spirit is telling God’s people.
               People:        Thanks be to God.
 Offering of Our Gifts
The offering is designated for the Committee on Ministry Emergency Support Fund and the Committee on Preparation for Ministry to offer financial support to seminary students.
“Shepherd Me O God”
* The Doxology
               Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise God all creatures here below,
               Praise God above ye heavenly host, Creator, Christ, and Holy Ghost.
Prayers of Intercession                                                                                                   
Affirmation of Gifts                                                                                                            
Leader:       There are varieties of gifts, but it is the same spirit who gives them.
People:       There are different ways of serving God, but it is the same Lord who is served.
Leader:       God works through each person in a unique way, but it is God’s purpose that is accomplished.
People:       To each is given a gift of the Spirit to be used for the common good.
Leader:       Together we are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

On My Kindle

In another 48 hours, I will be delivering out-of-town friends to overnight destinations and preparing to sleep for a long, long time. I doubt that I'll write anything much between now and Monday; there's still a lot to do, there's a potential for a major change in the service, and Michelle arrives late tomorrow afternoon ~ which means nonstop conversation ahead!  My dear friend Carol arrives as well, but she's staying with friends, so we have to wait a bit longer for our actual encounter.

In the meantime, I'm about to settle in for a little reading and I thought that I'd record what's in active status on my Kindle at the moment:

Resilience, by Elizabeth Edwards.  I'm reading it since she, too, lost a son and then discovered that she had breast cancer.  A lot of other bad things happened to her, too, and she died knowing that her husband had completely failed her and their children.  I'm finding the book oddly disjointed, which is not surprising, I suppose, although it seems that an editor might have taken things in hand.

An Ignatian Pathway, by Paul Coutinho, S.J.  I'm not sure I'm even past the introduction yet, so I have nothing to say about this one.

The Monks of Tibhurine, byJohn Kiser. I loved the movie, and I'm glad I saw it first, as the visuals have stayed with me and help to fill out the book.  I'm fascinated by the monks' interactions with their Muslim neighbors, and by the Algerian history of which I knew nothing. 

Church and Countryside, by Tim Gibson.  I came across this title when I was doing some online research on the concept of the rural church.  I'm not very far into it, but I was grateful to discover that others have begun to explore and analyze the unique potential for contribution by small churches whose congregants have intentionally chosen rural and small town lives.

Christ, The Sacrament of Encounter with God, by Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P.  I've heard of Schillebeeckx, but never read him.  Last week his name came up in a series of lectures on suffering to which I was listening; he is apparently a great proponent of the value of narrative.  In fact, I would venture to say that he has had a huge impact on another person I know.  This might have been the only book of his available on Kindle; at any rate, it's the one I bought.

So there you have it, the eclectic reading interests of a Presbyterian pastor, immediately pre-ordination: breast cancer, grief, Ignatian spirituality, interfaith engagement, the contemplative life, the rural church, and Christology.

I wonder what the list will look like a year from now!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mosaic of Friendship

Kathryn and I have known one another for a long time.  We "met" in an online moms' forum; we've all been talking and sharing our lives online for 15 years.  Kathryn and I have also gotten together several times, most recently just a couple of months ago.

Wayne and I met more recently.  Somehow our mutual Wernersville connection brought us together, along with our interests in birds and stained glass.  I have a couple of lovely Wayne-designed gifts.

Wayne is married to Margaret; she's a mosaic artist.  She and I share the same birthday, but we have yet to meet.  Wayne and Margaret and Kathryn have met, though.

(I should insert here that Margaret and Wayne gave me a beautiful mosaic cross as a seminary graduation gift last year. They don't know this yet, but the photograph will appear eventually: As promised, that cross was the very first thing I hung on the wall of my study in the church I pastor.)

This afternoon, a small package arrived, Kathryn-commissioned and Margaret-created.  The colors, Kathryn wrote, are those of my birthstone and Josh's:

one for Ohio

Pre-Ordination Conversations

Practice at church:  "No; remember, you put the loaf of bread down and then you pick up the chalice."

Emails:  "Color of paraments?  NO idea.  Someone must know the answer to this question?"

Proofreading: "Whatever possessed me to think that I could answer 'Yes' to these questions?  I can barely brush my teeth."

Meeting at my own church: "You forgot that you will be here to preach on Sunday morning?"

Practice at church: "You won't forget.  Bless, then break, then give."

Office administrator: "If there's anything else in the bulletin you want to change, don't tell me."

Music Director: "Breathe."

Lovely Daughter: "I know you had a different vision for this piece, but . . . ".

Practice at church: "I think it would probably be better not to do any pouring this time."