Sister Diana Doncaster Ordained

Sister Diana Doncaster Ordained

by the Rev. Sister Diana Doncaster C.T.

Thinking back on my diaconal ordination last Thursday, October 2nd at Christ Church, Eureka, I am filled again with amazed gratitude. That God would entrust me with a call to ordination, that so many people have lovingly supported me throughout the lengthy process, that so many people would work so hard and generously to prepare, that so many others would come so far to be part of the celebration and that I am now taking my first steps as a transitional deacon all seem to me to be causes for wonder and thanksgiving.

I am especially grateful to my Sisters in the Community of the Transfiguration who were willing to walk with me through a lengthy discernment process, to celebrate with me at every step forward and to continue their support and love as I live into this next stage of the journey. Having Sister Alice, who has lived with and patiently encouraged me during my education and formation process; Sister Teresa, our Superior, and Sister Priscilla (whom we believe to be the longest serving deacon in The Episcopal Church. She was a Deaconess first.), all present was a wonderful gift. Two of our Oblates and many of our Associates were also present, which was an incredible joy. (The Rev. Sister Diana Doncaster is pictured here with Sister Priscilla.)

Much of that evening is a blur. I got to the church early to take some quiet time for prayer before the rehearsal and found the place bustling with people pouring out their love and enthusiasm in making the church beautiful and the reception afterward joyous, delicious and visually delightful. Bishop Beisner had taken the time to contact me several times in the days ahead – even e-mailing from Hong Kong to make sure that I was doing well and as prepared as it’s possible to be. I felt well cared for. I was appreciative of his patient and efficient running of the rehearsal, and of the Ven. Cookie Clark’s good-humored presence and support.

The ordination service itself went by so quickly, with moments when time seemed to stop. Kneeling in front of Bishop Beisner, as we all prayed for the presence of the Holy Spirit; hearing the powerful words of the prayers asking God to make me a deacon; the honor of being vested with the stole by Sister Priscilla and serving as a deacon at the altar for the first time (with the helpful, whispered guidance of the Rev. Nancy Streufert) were all stand-out moments.

How my time as a transitional deacon will work out is still a mystery to which only God has the answer. I am grateful to serve at Christ Church, Eureka and hope to volunteer at the local hospital as a Chaplain and work to expand the No One Dies Alone program there. Beyond that, I wait and live and serve one day at a time.

 

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