Approaching the Waterfall
David Lappano is approaching the end of his time as Program Staff at the Centre for Christian Studies. David is leaving CCS to prepare for the priesthood in the Church of England. (Please join us for an online farewell to David on Wednesday, June 29th.)
These are some words to the CCS community from David:
It has been such an honour and privilege to work with the staff, students, and CCS community members these past six years. Everyone reading this newsletter or visiting this website knows how special CCS is, so I don’t have to explain the profound impact we have on each other through this school. It has been amazing to be involved in these relationships and these visions for the church and the world.
Thank you, everyone who has offered me affirming words, well-wishes and congratulations for my decision to pursue a vocation of ministry in the Church of England. I have been surprised but pleased that many of you have expressed how you’re not surprised to see me take this step.
As I approach the end of my time as Program Staff at CCS I feel like water approaching the waterfall – everything is speeding up and the edge is near. What will it feel like to go over this cusp? I don’t know, but it’s not doom or fear or disorientation or anything as terrifying as what it must be like to go over a real waterfall. I don’t feel anything like that because the Centre for Christian Studies has been preparing me for my own journey into ministry formation.
And the fact that I am journeying toward priesthood has not raised eyebrows because you know that I will be a very diaconal priest.
The good news is that is exactly what a priest in the Church of England is supposed to be, which is why a person is first ordained deacon – that is the primary ordination and the foundation of the priestly vocation which always remains.
When I first came to CCS and I was learning about the tradition and ministry of the diaconate I was given a bookmark with that famous excerpt from Rev. Irma Wyman answering the question, How will we know when we have enough deacons? And she said, “When, as Rev Canon George Osgoode says ‘deacons, going back and forth, have worn down the boundary lines that we use to keep church and world separated,’ and ‘when deacons, leading the baptized in and out, have beaten a path between the altar and the gutter so that everyone will see the link between the blood in our chalices and the blood in our streets.’” This passage, and the passage from the Anglican service for the ordination of deacons that reads, “You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world,” have germinated within me and a more sacramental expression of this has blossomed forth.
I look forward to all the unknown and unexpected ways our paths may cross again in the future!