Back on track with the ordination
by Kurt Greenbaum,
Bishop Transition Committee
After the global upheaval that has upended lives all over the world—and delayed the ordination of our 11th bishop—the Diocese of Missouri is back on track to consecrate Bishop-elect Deon Johnson.
A decidedly scaled back version of the ordination and consecration service is set for 11 a.m. on June 13 at Christ Church Cathedral—and the service comes equipped with a Plan A and a Plan B, depending on how well the region emerges from the stay-at-home orders.
Plan A calls for 50 to 60 attendees at the cathedral, with appropriate social distancing, face masks (if they’re still required) and plenty of available hand sanitizer. If gatherings of that size are still prohibited by the ordination date, Plan B calls for only 10 attendees in the cathedral—basically, the minimum necessary to “make a bishop.”
In both cases, the service will be live streamed online, visible to anyone with an internet connection on YouTube, the diocesan website or Facebook, where people will be able to comment and share observations during the service.
Plans call for the service to include Eucharist, a “virtual choir,” and, in addition to the ordination and consecration, the formal seating of Bishop-elect Deon in the cathedra—the bishop’s chair in the diocesan cathedral. These plans contrast with the original April 25-26 schedule, which would have ordained our 11th bishop on Saturday and seated him in a separate service on Sunday.
At this point, we expect six visiting bishops to be present as co-consecrators—including Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
With Bishop Wayne Smith’s retirement at the end of April, Bishop-elect Deon is now the administrator of the diocese. Once restrictions on gatherings relax, plans call for a celebration of Bishop Smith’s ministry with a service and luncheon. Additionally, there are plans for a larger service commemorating Bishop-elect Deon’s ordination, along with a second “seating” in the cathedral—which happens to have two cathedrae.