From the Associate Vicar
At 5pm this Saturday our curate, the Reverend Jon Sanders, will be ordained to the priesthood in a service at Ely Cathedral, to which all are welcome. Our former ordinand Sam Perez will be ordained at the same service. Then on Sunday 3 July, Jon will celebrate his first Eucharist as a priest at 10am at Great St Mary's, with a party in the churchyard afterwards.
As we enter into summer season — always a time of transition and change in Cambridge, but especially so at Great St Mary's this year — it's worth reflecting a bit about how priests fit into the ministry of the church. So I'm going to steal shamelessly from the diocesan Embertide Prayer booklet, inviting us to pray for all those being ordained:
"God calls his people to follow Christ, and forms us into a royal priesthood, a holy nation, to declare the wonderful deeds of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light. The Church is the Body of Christ, the people of God and the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. In baptism the whole Church is summoned to witness to God’s love and to work for the coming of his kingdom."
So first of all, although some of us at Great St Mary's are ordained priests, all of us by our baptism participate in the royal priesthood of the body of Christ. We all have ministries, in great diversity, and we work to pull together.
"To serve this royal priesthood, God has given particular ministries. Priests are ordained to lead God’s people in the offering of praise and the proclamation of the gospel. They share with the Bishop in the oversight of the Church, delighting in its beauty and rejoicing in its well-being. They are to set the example of the Good Shepherd always before them as the pattern of their . With the Bishop and their fellow presbyters, they are to sustain the community of the faithful by the ministry of word and sacrament, that we all may grow into the fullness of Christ and be a living sacrifice acceptable to God."
Which is to say that Jon has his work cut out for him following his ordination to the priesthood, but we all are invited to grow into the fullness of Christ, to offer praise, to proclaim the gospel in both word and deed, to be not safe nor finished nor extra-special-hard-working, but a living sacrifice acceptable to God.