About a month ago I was blessed to spend some time on retreat with the ordinands prior to their ordinations. It was a time of conversation, prayer and reflection. I shared with them one of the greatest gifts of ordained life for me was the acknowledgement of the privilege to serve. Every time I stand behind the altar or pulpit, at the baptismal font, in front of a couple or at the graveside I am acutely aware that it is a privilege to do so.
My sincere hope and prayer for each one of them was that first and foremost that they too were acutely aware of the privilege of the ministry they were being called to. And second, that as the years and number of times began to multiply, that their awareness of that privilege would not wain.
The privilege of service, of using our God-given gifts for ministry, is not a blessing obviously only reserved for the ordained. In fact, all of us through our baptism are called forth to the privilege each and every day in our homes, places of work with friend and stranger alike to use the gifts God has given us.
And in that spirit, let me express acknowledgement and gratefulness for the incredible privilege it is to serve as your bishop.