A Celebration of Shared Ministry

A Celebration of Shared Ministry

article by Kathy Adams of Holy Trinity, Ukiah; photos by Paul Sunderman 

In a joy-filled, "pull out all the stops" ceremony, the Rev. Bill Adams (pictured right with wife Kathy and the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner) was installed as the Priest-in-Charge at Holy Trinity, Ukiah on Saturday, December 10.

The Celebrant, the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, pointed out during his opening remarks that the liturgy booklet stated the ministry being celebrated was that of the Rev. Bill Adams and the people of Holy Trinity Church. The cake at the reception following the installation of this new ministry carried the inscription, "Congratulations Holy Trinity Church!" This was truly a joint celebration of a mutual ministry. A church filled to the rafters sang "Holy, Holy, Holy," as the procession began. Among some of the more memorable moments were the symbolic presentations made by numerous members of the vestry and congregation of Holy Trinity, the Litany for Ordinations beautifully chanted by Laurel Sunderman, Fr. Bill's daughter, the Holy Trinity Chancel Choir and the Holy Trinity Singers.

A powerful sermon on the challenges of Christian love was delivered by Fr. Bill's friend and one-time associate, the Rev. Mike Kerrick, (pictured below l-r: the Rev. Bill Adams, the Rev. Mike Kerrick, the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner and the Ven. Cookie Clark) currently Interim Rector of Trinity Church, Folsom. He pointed to Fr. Bill's endorsement of a gay and lesbian support group that began in a local high school at a time when most pastors in the community were condemning the students and the faculty involved in the project. He also noted his interfaith work, especially among Muslims in our diocese.

"By choosing Bill Adams as your priest, you have chosen the path of love," said Fr. Kerrick in his sermon. "He will ask you to love the unlovable and give till it hurts. Yes, that kind of love is hard, but it's the only thing capable of healing this broken world."

During his remarks, Fr. Bill gave a special thank you to his wife, Kathy for all her support over many years of ministry. This was met with a hearty round of applause.

The congregation present included most of the membership of Holy Trinity, as well as many people from the greater Ukiah community. Numerous people drove more than four hours from Fr. Bill's former parish to join in the celebration. The new Priest-in-Charge wore a cross given to him by the parish that sponsored him for ordination 26 years earlier, St. Clement's, Rancho Cordova. Among the 10 clergy who were present for the service was the Ven. Cookie Clark, Archdeacon for Diaconal Ministry in the diocese, who was the Deacon and Gospeller for the service. Clergy from other Christian churches in Ukiah as well as the local Rabbi were also invited to vest and take part. A festive lunch reception followed in the "Mary and Martha" room, hosted by the very gracious Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Women. As someone said at the conclusion of the service, "What a happy way to begin anew!"

For more information about Holy Trinity, Ukiah, visit www.holytrinityukiah.org.

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