Bishop Ordains Four Transitional Deacons

Bishop Ordains Four Transitional Deacons

by Merry Phillips, member of Christ Church, Eureka

On Saturday, June 28, 2014, the Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner ordained four transitional deacons at Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento. In the presence of God, clergy, family and friends, each new Deacon was examined and consecrated by the Bishop. Each Ordinand, David Cohen (St. Michael’s, Alturas), Randy Alan Knutson (Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento), Sarah Quinney (St. Augustine of Canterbury, Rocklin) and Nancy Streufert (Christ Church, Eureka), undertook their own separate and unique journeys to this special day, and through a process of loving and faithful discernment, answered God’s call in their lives.

Pictured here, from left to right, on the day of ordination are: the Rev. Lewis Powell; the Rev. David Cohen; the Rev. Nancy Streufert; Bishop Beisner; the Rev. Sara Quinney; the Rev. Randy Knutson; and the Very Rev. Dr. Brian Baker, Dean of Trinity, Sacramento. 

Together, David, Sarah, Randy, and Nancy shared the experience of pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Bishop Beisner in January. Now, after sharing this special Ordination to the transitional deaconate, each will continue on a separate journey to ordination to the priesthood.

In his sermon, the Rev. Lewis Powell, Deacon at Emmanuel, Grass Valley, spoke about the genre of jazz music. Just as jazz musicians display their solo talents within a group, following a designated structure for the music, these newly ordained deacons of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California will “...use their talents individually and in concert with others to the benefit of the disenfranchised in our world.”

What are the unique talents and God-given gifts (the “individual instruments”) that these four individuals bring to the Church? David Cohen is a gifted comedian and a successful psychologist. Nancy Streufert’s love for music and passion for igniting the creative spark in underserved children inspires her to help them see the light and joy of Christ through music and the arts. Sarah Quinney’s career in music therapy, working with children and adults with developmental disabilities, helped define how she will use her gifts in answering her lifelong call to ordained ministry. As a church music director, Randy Knutson has helped people to know Christ through music and worship and his experience has provided him with the ability to lead others to do the same.

“’No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar,’ but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” (Luke 11:33) Quoting from the Gospel lesson for the day that was proclaimed by the Rev. Barbara Miller, recently ordained deacon from the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real, the Rev. Powell exhorted our new deacons to “...go light your lamps, play your music to the drumbeat of Christ’s message of Love, and form new and innovative bands to play great music.”

They will not do so alone, but with the support of all present at the ordination service and the members of their sponsoring churches, who have pledged to support them in their ministries, with God’s help and under the direction provided by Christ for all ministries.

 The Rev. Sarah Quinney and the Rev. Randy Knutsen with Bishop Beisner.
 The Rev. David Cohen    
 The Rev. David Cohen and the Rev. Nancy Streufert with Bishop Beisner.

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