Tuesday, July 13
A New Era – The 25th Anniversary of RI’s First Deacons' School Ordinations
-The Rev. Dcn. Ricky Brightman
It was a very hot and humid on Saturday, 25 years ago today, as fourteen men and women were ordained by Bishop Hunt. These were the first deacons to graduate from the first deacon's school in RI. Only 3 deacons had been ordained in this state prior to the school's advent. It was hoped that the school would establish a solid core of diaconate service, and judging from where we are today, it has.
The ordination took place on Saturday July 13 in 1985, and the Cathedral was crowded even beyond actual capacity. People were seated on window ledges, on the steps of the high altar, and even were standing or sitting on the floor in the aisles. A few had the wisdom to stay within sight and sound in the narthex, for there the windows were open to admit whatever cooling breezes were available. Some attendees even took seats down in Synod Hall, where the sound system picked up what was going on upstairs. They were wise because Synod Hall was considerable cooler than upstairs in the Cathedral proper.
The service itself was glorious with massed choirs accompanied by trumpet and organ. Many were able to ignore physical discomfort because they were so thrilled with the dignity and beauty of the servicer. Following the service there was an informal reception held in the Roger Williams Memorial Park across the street from the Cathedral.
This was the beginning of a new era and opportunity for ordained ministry in the Diocese of Rhode Island! These Deacons have served the Diocese and their separate parishes well during the past twenty-five years. Their varied ministry has had a great impact on the people they have directly served, and many of them are still serving today!
For that we give thanks as well as say to you all – “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”
Thank you for a fantastic first 25 years:
Austin ”Skip” A. Almon, Jr – to serve at St Michael and All Angels’ in Rumford
Paul J. Boardman Jr, at St. Columba’s, Middletown
Janet M. Broadhead, at St. Matthew’s, Jamestown
Edwin “Ted” Hallenbeck, All Saints’, Warwick
Ida R. Johnson at St James’, Woonsocket
Robert Johnson, (a husband and wife team), Grace Church, Providence
Mary B. Johnstone, Trinity, Newport and Kent Hospital, Warwick
Besty E. Lesieur, at Christ Church, Lincoln
Iris E. Mello, Transfiguration, Cranston
Jean Barry Olsen, St. David’s on the Hill, Cranston
James Verber, at St Mathias’, Coventry
Lester York, St Barnabas’, Warwick
Sean Manchester, a Transitional Deacon preparing for Priesthood, St Michael’s, Bristol
Martha Vaguener, Transitional, to work in Kenya
Posted by The Episcopal Diocese of RI