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What a truly wonderful consecration that was!

The Consecration of The Right Reverend John Vaughan as Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of the Eastern United States took place at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Timonium, Wednesday, April 18th. Bishop Vaughan’s principal consecrators were The Most Reverend Brian Marsh, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America; The Rt. Rev. Stephen P. Strawn, Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley; and The Rt. Rev. Chandler Holder Jones of the Anglican Province of America. Co–consecrators were The Rt. Rev. George Langberg, ACA; The Rt. Rev. Robert Loiselle, APA; and the Rt. Rev. Council Ned of the Episcopal Missionary Church.

A large congregation of priests and laity packed the church for the Consecration Liturgy and the Eucharist that followed it. After the anointing and “laying on hands” by the consecrating bishops, Bishop Vaughan was presented with the Instruments of Authority: the Bible, cope, mitre, Episcopal ring, and crosier or pastoral staff.

The crosier (a bishop’s stylized shepherd’s crook) was the gift of Don Ruthig. It was a spectacular piece of woodwork, featuring in the center of the crook a beautifully hand carved shamrock—a traditional symbol of the Holy Trinity and a tribute to Ireland, Bishop Vaughan’s birthplace.

The service music—which had a strongly Irish flavor—drew fulsome compliments from both the participating bishops and clergy and the people in the pews. Few of the congregants, however, were aware that Adric, the organist and cantor, was performing under exceedingly trying circumstances. Our organ had broken down on the Sunday before the consecration and, despite extensive repairs, the miserable thing failed completely on the day of the service.

The Ray Daffer organ company came to the rescue with the loan of a substitute four hours before the service was due to begin. Adric, thus, had very little time to acclimatize himself to the new instrument. His was a consummately professional performance. Seldom have compliments been so richly deserved.

Bouquets are owed to the people behind the scenes who made the occasion so joyous and so memorable. Organizers for the event were the redoubtable Donna Szper and Rosa Halbert (also affectionately known in the diocese as “Trouble One” and “Trouble Two.”)

Their able support staff—cleaning the church, serving the food, ferrying the guests, etc.—included Sev and Martha Miller, Brock “Sparkles” Johnson, Judy & Steve Kight, Ellen Reather, Dan Bursi, Don & Karen Ruthig, Judy Elliott, Happy Riley, Bill & Anne Hawkins, Brice & Reta Richardson, Bill Spicer, and Charlotte Hawtin.

Our thanks also to the folks who provided the food for the reception following the service, and to Colby and Wiley Hawks who entertained the bishops and other dignitaries to dinner on the Monday evening before the Consecration. Thanks are also owed the staff of the Padonia Park Club who catered lunch, supper on Tuesday, and breakfast on Wednesday.

By way of congratulations, the bishops confirmed St. Stephen’s as the pro–cathedral of the diocese—a considerable honor for a modest country church with a warm hearted, generous, hard–working, and extremely capable congregation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. GPH✠

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