March 17, 2008

A New Deacon


On Saturday the 15th, I was honored to serve as a sponsor for Mark Robin Collins' ordination to the diaconate at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Mark has been doing his seminarian field placement (from The Seminary, ahem) at my parish, St James Fordham in The Bronx. (And doing a superb job of it, I might add.) I'm the short one on the left, in case my avatars aren't hint enough, Mark is marked with the diaconal diagonal, and to his left are two parish stalwarts, Monica Stewart and Pearline Bashford.

It was a great day, with a superb sermon by the Rev Charles Colwell, an old friend and colleague. There were six other ordinands, and they were all glowing with diaconal élan at the end of the liturgy — which was also splendid in that great and newly cleaned space. (And I was just reminded that I got to lead the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus from the lectern 1/8 mile away from the rose window! What a venue for a Veni!)

The folks at Saint James will be sorry to lose Mark when he graduates and is no doubt called to productive service. God bless him!

Tobias Haller BSG

12 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tobias, please congratulate Mark for me and tell him that I pray for God to bless him in his new ministry.

I have not forgotten his kindness in giving a group of us a ride from St. James back into Manhattan.

Mark R. Collins of GTS, EDNY, TEC said...

Thanks for these kind words, Tobias; and for standing as sponsor for me. It was indeed a great day, and one in which my ministry at St. James had prepared me and supported me.

Mimi: Thanks to you as well!

~Mark

Country Parson said...

CONGRATULATIONS to Mark from another alum of The seminary.

Anglocat said...

Many, many congratulations to Mark--and blessings as his ministry unfolds.

FranIAm said...

Lovely post and all good wishes, thoughts and prayers for Mark!

I now have Veni running through my head as I go off to bed!

Blessed Holy Week to you dear Tobias!

JCF said...

Mozel Tov! :-D

---JCF, alum of The Superior (i.e., uptown) Seminary.* ;-/

[* UTS, celebrating the appt. of our first woman president, Dr. Serene Jones! :-)]

A blessed Holy Week, to you and yours, Tobias.

Jane R said...

Oh, how lovely, and what a fine photo. Blessings especially to Mark on his ministry, but also in thanksgiving to Ms. Stewart and Ms. Bashford and to you for the challenge and nurture which a parish context provides.

JCF, hadn't yet heard the news about Serene Jones's appointment, that's great!

Jane, alumna of The Divinity School (up in Cambridge, and I don't mean EDS but that crimson place where everything is snootily called THE Law School, THE Divinity School, et al.) with some CDSP thrown in for good California measure ;-).

Paul said...

Blessings on the ministries of all involved!

From a graduate of the American Baptist Seminary of the West (who somehow emerged with Eastern Orthodox leanings and is happily Episcopalian now)

[Wonderful photo, Tobias. Thanks for posting it.]

Mark R. Collins of GTS, EDNY, TEC said...

Wow, thanks everyone. Tobias, you're handling all my press releases from now on! ~ Mark

Ann said...

Love this pic and your entry. "The" seminary must refer to General, because I can't imagine anyone riding an hour to NYC from Berkeley at Yale (THE BEST seminary). There are so many good parishes to serve in Connecticut, after all. I love Ward Ewing (who was Rector when I went through the discernment process in Buffalo), but General is hardly the only (or even best, IMO) seminary in the US for Episcopal clergy or church leaders.

Tobias Haller said...

References to The Seminary (General, of course) are in respect of its unique status as the only nationally governed seminary of the Episcopal Church, chartered by the General Convention in 1817, and with a board elected by that body, and required to report to it. Nothing is to suggest it to be the best seminary for all seminarians (in fact, I usually recommend Sewanee to folks who have a family and kids). Indeed, some who know General's long traditions might well observe that the "bloom has been off the Rose" for a while. It seems also to share the endemic disease of so many seminaries in imagining itself to be a "community" when it is nothing of the sort. As I mentioned to the then Dean in my entrance interview over a decade ago, "It strikes me that General is the seminary of the 19th century preparing for the church of the 50s." That has changed a bit, but a major overhaul of all the seminaries seems to be in order -- or they will soon be under constraint. Perhaps I will reflect on this at greater length another time...

First Apostle said...

Three seniors from my seminary (which Ann calls the best) were also ordained at this service. Good crop this year!