The Consecration ceremony in Anchorage was an extraordinary event. I am grateful to all who worked so hard planning and preparing and participating in the events of that weekend. The variety of gifts offered in the worship service was a living example of the description St. Paul gives of the body of Christ–many gifts make the one body. The Diocese of Alaska is blessed to have such genuine diversity. We do well to honor God by offering our thanks for these gifts by expressing them in their fullness.
One moment, a deeply personal experience, abides in my memory of the Consecration. When the Presiding Bishop asked the gathered people if it was “your will that we ordain Mark a bishop,” you responded with such unity and force of conviction–dare I say prayerful purpose, that the power of your response: “That is our will,” moved with tangible force through my body. It was as if a wave, or gust of wind, hit me from behind and coursed through my body. The force of that wave, that wind, strengthened the beat of my heart, like a drum being hit, and I knew it was the power of the Holy Spirit moving in the midst of us.
I felt that same power, that same force, as we celebrated Holy Communion together and shared the one bread and one cup: the body and blood of Christ.
It was a holy experience. And I pray that it was empowering for all of us in the Diocese of Alaska as we start this new ministry God has given us to do together.