As of 4:55 pm today, I became the newest (and youngest) priest in the Diocese of Tennessee through the imposition of hands of the Rt. Rev. William Sanders, Retired Bishop of East Tennessee in a wonderful service at Trinity Church, Winchester TN. Unfortunately, Bishop Herlong was not feeling well and could not conduct the service–I ask that you remember he and his wife in your prayers.
The service was fantastic and I really appreciated the support of my fellow clergy, especially those who have gone through various stages of this process with me. Fr. Bill Midgett preached a rousing sermon focusing on the idea that being a shepherd of the flock requires a shepherds heart and that being made a priest does not (unfortunately) a shepherd make. Her additionally focused on the need today for “warrior shepherds” who, like David, are willing to confront the evils that imperil the lives (physical or spiritual) of their flock.
It was a wonderful experience, the Holy Spirit was certainly present, and I’m still processing the full weight of all of this.