On December 4th, 2022, at St. John the Evangelist Church in Topsail, Bishop Rose, Rev’d Noel, invited guests, and active members of the parish assembled to celebrate an important and long anticipated event—the Induction of Rev’d Josiah Wade Noel to the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Topsail.
I have been a member of the faith community of St. John the Evangelist for over sixty years. During that time, I have had the distinguished opportunity to collaborate with thirteen different rectors, and have witnessed inductions, duly bestowed. However, from 2011 to 2021, our spiritual situation was somewhat altered. Of the seven priests who served our congregation during that period, we were dependent upon five guest ministers. We would never discount the dedication of these very qualified priests, as each had his own special and individual gift of conveyance.
But about a year ago, with no permanent priest for some time, we welcomed the permanency of Rev’d Noel to our parish. So after several years of hellos and goodbyes, this special induction was long anticipated and celebrated on the second Sunday of Advent.
We were blessed with the presence of several organizations of the town of CBS, where volunteering is reflective of the healthy functioning of its people. Joining us to welcome Rev’d Josiah were representatives from the town of CBS; the Paradise and CBS food bank; the CLB, Upper Gullies company; 1st Topsail Scouts; the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 50; the CBS Chamber of Commerce; and the Society of United Fishermen No. 41, Topsail. Rev’d Josiah thanked them for the welcome and reiterated that together we can build a more secure and vibrant community.
We were especially blessed to have in our midst Rev’d Noel’s mother who participated in the service by delivering psalm 100.
Before the induction ceremony, Amanda Dawe graced the congregation with her solo, “You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord.”
In compliance with protocol, the wardens and a representative of the parish approached the Bishop with the request to proceed with the induction. The licence was then read by the Bishop on behalf of the people of the parish.
In his address to Rev’d Josiah, Bishop Sam continued by asking if he would commit to this trust and responsibility—with the reply “I do.” In like manner, the bishop asked the congregation for their support of Rev’d Noel in his ministry, with the guarantee, “We do.” He concluded by asking the visitors if they would support Rev’d Noel and the parish, with the response, “We will.”
Representatives of the congregation then presented symbols of ministry on behalf of the whole people of God.
A Bible: the story of God’s Love. A vessel of water: baptism. Oil: anointing of the Holy Spirit. Bread and Wine: the Eucharist. The Liturgical books: lead us in worship. Keys to the church: an open and welcome community. A copy of the canons of the diocese: to work with communities and organizations of the church.
The ceremony concluded with the invitation of all present who are baptized members of their own church to participate in the Eucharist, which was followed by the retrieving of the colours and the Royal Anthem.
Then Bishop Sam, Rev’d Josiah, guests, and parishioners were ushered downstairs to the choir’s rhythm of “ To God Be The Glory,” while a delicious lunch was prepared and served by the ACW team.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart In all your ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct your path.”
Proverbs 3: 5.