by Caitlin Gutenberger, Communications Coordinator
Both St. John's, Roseville and the Rev. John Schively (pictured right) had many reasons to celebrate this Sunday, June 26. In addition to the baptism of a new congregant, the Rev. Cliff Haggenjos' 52nd birthday and one-year anniversary of installation as rector, Father John marked his 50th anniversary of ordination as a priest.
Father John retired in 1998, but was then called by the St. John's Building Committee, first to help build a school on their Main Street property, and later to serve as Project Manager for the building of their new church in West Park.
All smiles, Father John listened in as Father Cliff read letters written to him by his sister and one of his sons. Even before the 10:30am service began, he received a special surprise with the arrival of his son David, who later spoke to the congregation warmly about his dad.
Father Cliff honored Father John, explaining to the congregation the ministry of a priest, the sacrifice that a priest and their loved ones make as they are called to represent Christ in the world. "John and I, by virtue of our call to priesthood, realize something very important about God," spoke Father Cliff. "It is something that deep down in our hearts we know is true. God desires us to give all of ourselves…He desires all of us…He desires our best efforts."
Fr. John's talents as a builder of churches began even before his ordination as a priest. As a deacon of Christ Church in Alameda, he was appointed secretary for their rebuilding project after a fire razed the church to the ground. After being ordained as a priest at Christ Church on June 26, 1961, he worked with St. Stephen's in Gilroy in acquiring a building and altar furnishings that he helped design.
At the new St. John's property, Father John worked to bring the art, altar furnishings, sanctuary lighting, sound and music together into a beautiful worship space. "It worked," he exclaimed with a twinkle in his eyes. "It does what I prayed it would."
As Father John sat in the new church he helped to build, surrounded by the congregation, friends and loved ones, he listened on to Father Cliff's words: "We celebrate the way you have given yourself to bless the body of Christ. On behalf of all of us, I give thanks for your life and ministry, Father John Schively. Well done, my brother. But you are not done by a long shot. So let us continue on this journey together. Let us acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit with us right here at this moment. Let us take and break. Let us bless and give. God has called us to do this. Who are we to refuse?"
To learn more about St. John's, Roseville, visit their website: www.stjohnsroseville.org. Click here to view additional photos taken by Robin Williams Whitlow, member of St. John's, Roseville.
Sun, June 26, 2011
by Caitlin Gutenberger filed under