This Sunday, we welcome our new curate, Roxana Tenea Teleman, who was ordained deacon last Sunday. After the service, we will have refreshments with crémant and finger food to celebrate her arrival – please bring some food to make this an ‘enhanced’ coffee hour.
We also welcome back Devin and Hailey Jacobsen, who were here two tears ago; Hailey is on summer placement from Virginia Theological Seminary, after having completed her first year of ordination training.
To go to Roxana’s ordination, I took the new tram, which now runs from Jean Medecin to the airport. You may find this summary about the tram and bus changes now and later in the year useful.
Wednesday, July 10, Eucharist at 10.30 am.
Friday, July 12, A-prayer-atif on the Beach from 6pm at Plage du Centenaire Handiplage. Bring drinks, snacks and something to sit on.
The Spring edition of the Quarterly is available to buy on Sundays or to read online.
Attending the ordination as deacon of Roxana, our curate, in Brussels last Sunday was a wonderful occasion. We will welcome her at the services at St Hugh’s and Holy Trinity this Sunday.
This Sunday’s gospel tells a story which has some relevance to ordination. It describes how Jesus sent out seventy people (described as ‘others’ – should we assume they were all men?) to deliver a simple message: ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’.
The story is only told in Luke’s Gospel and reflects its author’s preoccupation with how the gospel message spread not just among Jesus’ own people, the Jews, but to other peoples as well.
Their number, seventy, was significant. The book of Genesis records that there were seventy nations in the world. The implication of Jesus choosing seventy is that the gospel is intended for ‘all peoples’, i.e. it is meant to be universal.
The fact that they were sent out, commissioned, makes them appear like ‘ordained’ persons to us. At the ordination of deacons, the Bishop says: ‘Deacons are called to work with the Bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ’s kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed.’
The mission of the seventy is urgent. There are many indications of this: Jesus says that ‘the harvest is plentiful’, so they need to work fast to complete it; they are told to ‘greet no one on the road’ – there’s no time for idle chatter; and they are to travel light – ‘Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals’. They are also told to ignore food purity rules: ‘Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they [their hosts] provide.’
They are to expect a mixed reception. In the places where they are welcome, they should stay and heal people; in the places where they are unwelcome, they should shake the dust from their feet. But in both places, the message is the same: ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ They have no control over who accepts or rejects the message.
Today, the interaction of all Christians – not just clergy – with people whom we encounter is as unpredictable as the original seventy found.
However, we should remember two things which apply to all Christians, not just those who are ordained.
All the baptised are called to go out into the world and spread the gospel by ‘word and deed’. We are also ‘empowered’ to do so. We don’t make a difference through our own virtue but through God at work within us and in the contexts in which we find ourselves.
There are many opportunities each day and it is often the unfamiliar or difficult circumstances that prove the most positive.
Also, it’s significant that the seventy made a difference when they stayed with people. We need to give others time.
Also, we shouldn’t fear that we have nothing to give. Every baptised person is empowered by the Holy Spirit and sustained by the gift of Christ in the Eucharist to bring the gospel to others.