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By Susan Bagshaw

I know, for myself, where I was, what I was doing, what day of the week it was, and what the weather was like on that day.

I suspect those who have been ordained in holy orders remember your moment as well when God spoke to you and called you to be His servant in ministry in His church, be it by words, a physical rush that went through your entire being, or a gentle ‘poke’ telling you to go ‘that way’. The call had been received, the message heard and the journey about to begin.

I had the very good fortune to be directed to Renison College-University and Ministry Centre Director Marilyn Malton to further discern this call.  She welcomed me to classes as she welcomes everyone seeking answers about the faith journey they find themselves on with a gentle spirit, an encouraging word and a prayer and I am forever grateful.

Fast-forward eight years, with the unwavering support of my family and friends along the way, the day started off with a good set of nerves until things got rolling.  It was a strange feeling to wear a collar for the first time and it will take some getting used to!  I am sure I did not remember every instruction given prior to the service, but it did not matter – the Holy Spirit was fully present!  It was an absolutely joyful day for me and despite the restrictions that covid-19 placed on the service itself, everything was absolutely as it should be.  I tried very hard to take in every moment and tuck it in my memory. I will never forget the feeling of the bishop’s hands on my head at the moment of consecration. Never.  Now, by God’s grace, here I stand as newly ordained in God’s church as ‘Deacon with special responsibility for Pastoral Care’ – one I do not take lightly and I know that I do not minister alone.

The Reverend Stephen Berryman reminded myself and my fellow ordinands – Reverend L. Enrique Martinez and Reverend Jordan Murray – during the homily that the Feast of St. Andrew will always have special meaning to us as a reminder that Andrew was first called to follow Jesus and so are we called to do the same.  These fellow deacons will always have a place in my heart wherever they may go with their ministries and as Bishop Todd further reminds us  that we are tied together by this moment in our individual histories and we will share this bond forever.  We may be forever known as ‘the COVID ordinands of 2020’ but I think that perhaps the simplicity of the service added to a purer beauty for each one of us as each element will be remembered as we go forward to serve Christ in others having answered the call, being gifted by the Spirit and sent out into the world as we declare “I believe I am so called.”

Rev. Susan Bagshaw was ordained on November 30, 2020 and appointed deacon with special responsibility for pastoral care at St. John’s, Cambridge.