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by Phyllis Thompson

The evening’s rain did not deter people from filling St. Mary’s Church in Nanoose Bay on February 15 for a Eucharist and the formal induction of the Rev. Selinde Krayenhoff as incumbent of that parish. The program rightly called the event “the celebration of a new ministry.” In his initial greeting and welcome, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie firmly noted this worshipping community was “on the verge of new ministry and good relationship—the work of the Spirit—as the community moves forward.” He also sensed that “God has a significant role for you present here to play in the parish and the area.”              

Bishop Logan presided at the Eucharist, and was assisted at the formal induction by the Venerable Brian Evans, archdeacon of the Cowichan/Malaspina region, and by the Rev. Jim Holland, regional dean of the Cowichan/Malaspina region. Krayenhoff voiced her commitment to St. Mary’s congregation; the parishioners then affirmed their support, and all renewed their baptismal promises. She was led to the presider’s chair by the archdeacon; then rector’s warden, Elaine Cowan, and people’s warden, Mary Holte, presented her with the keys to the church. That complete, the congregation gave its truly rousing approval of the new incumbent.              

The Rev. Selinde has a favourite Gloria, one composed by David Haas. The congregation practiced it for a number of Sundays in advance, so it would be rousing at that liturgy with full voices lifted in praise. The refrain says it all: “Glory to God in the highest, Sing glory to God!  Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.” All the hymns sung that evening focused on praise, openness to God’s will, and unity in Christ. The beautiful hymns reminded me of St. Augustine’s line, “to sing well is to pray twice.”              

Favourite Scriptural passages of Krayenhoff’s were incorporated in the liturgy: Jeremiah 1:4-9, Romans 12:1-18, most importantly, the Gospel, John 14: 11-15. In her sermon she spoke of the intimacy with God that is available to each of us now and how immersing ourselves in relationship with the divine presence permits us to be more loving and “more effective in fulfilling God’s purpose for us.”

This hinges on trust. Trust is key to understanding that God knows and holds dear everything about us, and uses everything – even recycles it. Krayenhoff cited a remark of a former teacher: “Proceed as if you are needed.” In the face of all the “I don’t knows” in life, the dreams, hopes and regrets, Krayenhoff trusts that she is held in God’s love and support, so can find the energy, strength, and perception to contribute her gifts to the well-being of the St. Mary’s community and the entire Body of Christ. We are all created to live in God’s circle of love, so we too can “proceed as if we are needed” in this world.

A reception followed the liturgy, and with lit sparklers adding glitz to the event, a lovely cake was cut and shared.  

Photo: With archdeacon, the Venerable Brian Evans looking on, Bishop Logan presents St. Mary’s with its new incumbent the Rev. Selinde Krayenhoff.   Photo by Phyllis Thompson