Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Third Rector of Blessed Sacrament

A young man who is a member of Blessed Sacrament was standing in line in front of me while we were waiting to pay for the items we had won at the dinner/auction for the parish’s fiftieth anniversary. In our small talk about the occasion, we were talking about the future of Blessed Sacrament. When I mentioned what might happen after my retirement, he got a stunned look on his face and stuttered, “B-, b-, but I thought you’d kind of be here for ever!”

Well, it was rather affirming to have that reaction, but it’s not very likely that I will be Rector of Blessed Sacrament until Jesus comes again or the Earth falls into the sun, whichever comes first. (I hope and pray it’ll be Jesus coming again.) Remembering my excitement that the first Rector of Blessed Sacrament, my immediate predecessor Father Tony Rasch, had been present for the commemorative Mass that morning, I referred to myself as the second Rector. And then I mused rather wistfully, “Sometimes I ponder the fact that the third Rector of Blessed Sacrament is alive somewhere today...” (And that’s what elicited the young man’s reaction.)

Well, he is. He will probably be here in about eight or nine years, which means that my rectorship is about three-fourths over. Still, eight or nine years is a long time, so I’m probably not quite a lame duck yet. I guess that people will still have to pay attention to me for a while longer. And there remains much to be done as Blessed Sacrament continues to make its journey deeper into faithfulness and fruitfulness.

And an awful lot can happen in those years. Where will the Episcopal Church be? What will it be? Where will the Anglican Communion be? I’m confident that Blessed Sacrament will be in a good place at the end of that time, and there’s a good number of young, orthodox priests being formed right now. As is always the case when one is faithful to Jesus, everything will be fine. The transition is a long way off now, but when it does come, we will pass from faithfulness to faithfulness.

Unless Jesus returns first. In that case, there will be no third Rector of Blessed Sacrament. And that would be very cool.


Joi said...

I have to confess, the thought of you not being at Blessed Sacrament is a little scary. But then I look at the history of the parish, and realize that no matter who's been there, the church has been steady and solid in the faith. There doesn't seem to be any reason to think the future would be any different, as long as we stand firm, trust God, and love one another. So here's to the next few years, may they be as good as the first 50! And here's to the next Rector of Blessed Sacrament, may God be with him!

Tim said...

Do you think that the next rector may be one of the future priests coming from our parish? Would that be a good thing or not?

Erin said...

I'd like to tell you about an image that has stuck in my mind for a while. During this past Lent, I was (of course) sitting in the congregation. Father David, you were wearing that white vestment with the deep red cross on the back. It was almost time for the Eucharist, and you and the two assisting priests had knelt before the altar. Midway through one of the prayers, I opened my eyes briefly and almost gasped outloud. I couldn't see you anymore! Because the white of your vestment blended in with the white altar cloth, all I could see, for a second, was the red cross in front of the altar.
In a small way, I knew then that I could trust you and Blessed Sacrament, my new church, simply because this church body strives goal to give all glory and allegiance to Jesus. And, as you say, we can't go wrong when He is our everything. --Erin