Friday, August 13, 2010


Although the term is from the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, incardination is a good word to use when any Christian moves from one place to another. In my case, it was moving from East Aurora, a village in Western New York, to Danvers, a town in Massachusetts. In East Aurora I had some sense of what it meant to be a Christian, an Episcopalian, and, as the English would say, a Clerk in Holy Orders. Here in Danvers I will have to work that out or, more accurately, discover it, have it shown to me. I will, if I want to preside and preach regularly, have to be licensed by the Bishop of Massachusetts. But preaching and presiding is not all that there is to being a presbyter, and being a Christian, one who is "sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever," is a vocation all by itself. So the work of discerning how to be in this new place, how to be incarnate here may take some time. There will be others involved in the discerning - my wife, our daughter and son-in-law and their eleven-month-old daughter, old and new colleagues and friends, and some perfect strangers. I can trust that God will use all of these people to teach me how to be me in this new place.


J. Michael Povey said...

Thanks so much Dan. In the first year of my retirement I goofed off from Church, just to make sure that I was a Christian without being paid. And to discover if there was a real Michael when he was not in a pulpit or behind an altar.

I am now licensed in Dio S.W. Florida which is all very nice. But, seriously, I have to continually ask "am I incardinated in the Lord Jesus?"

Hugs to you and Jan

Stephen O said...

Hi Dan,
Glad to have you in this neck of God's woods. Church life here is assuredly not East Aurora, NY, in style - and it isn't like my previous live in metro NYC either. There's something intangible but still real about the New England congregational heritage that trumps congregationalism in the Episcopal Church which I've experienced elsewhere. It's different and has different rewards and challenges!

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