Thursday (James DeKoven)

Out the door and on the road just a few minutes before the entirely ungodly hour of 4am. Drove north to Peoria “International” (really?) airport or a 6:20 departure for Minneapolis, and after a short layover, caught the 8:55 to Baltimore, arriving at 12:20. I was picked up by the rector of St Mary’s, Abingdon, who was kind enough to take me through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A before depositing me at the church. I was met there by Don Shranz, who was the reason for my trip. We talked/walked through the choreography of this evening’s liturgy, after which he drove me to a nearby Hampton Inn (my home away from home) for some much-needed downtime, a bit of which was spent on the phone with Delta straightening out an itinerary wrinkle. Don retrieved me at 5:00, ahead of the scheduled 5:30 liturgy rehearsal, some refreshments, and a 7:00 service. That was the occasion for formally receiving Don, who was once ordained by the Roman Catholics, as a priest in the Episcopal Church. It was a luminous, joy-filled occasion for a community that is immensely supportive of his ministry. There’s no immediate gain for the Diocese of Springfield in this. We processed Don’s reception as a favor to the rector of St Mary’s, and with the full knowledge and support of the Diocese of Maryland, whose assisting bishop was present tonight. It’s great fun to be involved in something like this.

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