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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

A Priestly Journey

By Fr. Brian Stankich

Why would anyone want to be a priest? I have asked myself this question 20-25 times in the past eighteen months. The answer is always the same: I believe it is God’s will for me to be a priest with The Episcopal Church.

My ordination by Bishop Justin to the diaconate last week was amazing. Thank you, Grace Church, for hosting it. Thank you, Father Jonathan, for bringing it about. Thank you to our hard-working staff and warm, committed members for making it a special night. We’ll do it again – at the priestly ordination – in about six months. In the meantime, I have a lot of serving to do.

And serving is what I like to do. I love serving the people of God. I value building the kingdom of God among those who have never heard the Good News of Christ, or helping to turn back those who have turned away. While my role as a deacon is brand new, I have been serving in and around the church for over 30 years.

When Dona and I joined The Episcopal Church in 2021 it was largely because this church had brought about a renewal of my faith. The liturgy – same words week in and week out – refreshed me because those words are gospel words of truth and life. Just like we wash our clothes every week, our souls get washed in the blood of the lamb every week.

I love that we take communion every week. We gather together as the church, the body of Christ. His body is broken for us. As we ‘take and eat’ together, we are forming a stronger and stronger bond with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

This way to worship has refreshed me so much that I have offered myself to the Lord to serve his church. When Dona and I lived and worked in Macedonia in the 90’s and in Egypt in the 00’s, we were sharing the gospel, planting a church, and caring for and leading other missionary church planters around the world. Having served as a ministry professional allowed me to develop people skills, leadership abilities, and other vital aspects of ministry such as conflict resolution, fundraising, communication, and the like. Not that I’m great at all those things.

That’s where being a resident at Grace Church comes in to play. I can develop and hone those skills for a new context of leadership in the church, to be the best minister God wants me to be. Only God knows the rest of my story. It is the old and the new coming together. I am grateful to be with you.

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