This year, 2008, marks a significant event in the life of our Parish. On June 29, 1988, the second of only two ordinations that have been held in the St. Peter’s Parish Church took place. The first ordination was in 1983 and it was the ordination of a Priest. The 1988 ordination was of a Deacon and the individual ordained was a person who was “born and bred” in the Parish. This year, 2008 then marks the twentieth (20th) anniversary of the first (and to date only) ordination of a Parishioner that has taken place in the St. Peter’s Parish Church. This is a historic year for us and so we are called to celebrate it; when we consider that twenty years on the very same individual has returned home to serve as Parish Priest, it is even more important for us to celebrate and give God thanks. We thank God that our Parish (the St. Peter’s Anglican Church) with all its short comings has actually successfully nurtured a Priest, whom it has now pleased God to call as its Parish Priest. This is great! How many Parishes in our Diocese have actually had the opportunity to contribute so significantly to the nurturing of a good Priest, who has returned to serve the very Parish and people who helped in her/his nurturing and development? Not many, brothers and sisters – so let us celebrate and thank our God!
It is very significant that our 2008 celebrations begin with an act of affirmation, recognition and thanksgiving for the combined century plus of the ministry of two of our stalwarts, Mrs. Henrietta Demming and Mr. Rupert Mills. This says to all of us that our Parish has been able to nurture and develop vocations to the ordained ministry because within its ranks are people who have been utterly devoted and dedicated to Christ and the Church. It is commitment and devotion such as that displayed by Mrs. Demming and Mr. Mills that help and influence the younger generation into greater service to Christ and the Church.
This celebration then which we will launch into at 5:00pm this afternoon is a clarion call for each one of us to examine our lives and take a decision to lift our commitment to Christ through this our Parish Church to those levels and heights that will see our example leading and guiding many more of our young, bright and devoted and dedicated men and women into the ordained ministry. Let us all gather later this afternoon to recognize, honour, affirm and give thanks for the combined efforts of Mrs. Demming and Mr. Mills over the last fifty years. It is the most fitting way to launch our special events in 2008, our celebratory year.
Rev. Isaiah Phillip