St. Mary's by-the-Sea officially welcomed new Rector Kristine Johnson on Sunday, January 25th with a Renewal of Ministry celebration

On Saturday, January 25th, Bishop Lucinda Ashby presided as St. Mary’s congregation, clergy colleagues, friends, and family celebrated the renewal of ministry and officially welcomed Kristine Johnson as our new rector!

The Altar Guild dressed the church in red and arranged beautiful yellow and white flowers for the occasion. There was a rehearsal on Friday afternoon to run through all of the moving parts of the service. On Saturday we met for a final walk through and before we knew it … places everyone!

At five of 2PM, the church bell rang and signaled all the attending clergy to process from Edwards Hall into the church. When Jackie Pierce ended the prelude of “Sheep May Safely Graze” by J. S. Bach, she and Coral Malpede accompanied the choir and all assembled in Opening Hymn 135, “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” as the procession moved down the aisle.

It was a beautiful service that was full of appreciation and gratitude that Kristine was called to become a minister, that she was chosen to be our rector, and that she accepted the call to come to our little chapel by the sea. It was a joy to see Kristine surrounded by her friends and family and to experience the homily delivered by her dear friend, the Rev. Anne Turner. We were blessed to hear about a Bible study that changed the lives of all who attended, being the seed that grew into Kristine becoming a priest. Another special friend, the Rev. Jaime Leonard, along with other fellow clergy filled three pews in the front left of the church to show respect and support of Kristine and to the congregation. There were special gifts presented to Kristine and they were accepted with the love in which they were given.

We all applauded as Bishop Lucinda introduced Kristine as our new rector! We celebrated renewing our baptismal vows and with a Holy Eucharist.

The service concluded and a lovely reception followed in Edwards Hall. There was coffee, tea, wine, yummy sandwiches and other treats made and brought with love. There were cookies, made by Kirsten Matsumoto into special works of art, including a likeness of the church, and a bishop’s mitre. And there was fellowship; a wonderful celebration of this union!

We look forward to what comes next with grateful hearts and eager spirits.