On the Eve of the Festival of St. Teresa of Avila, October 14th, Rev. Karine Snowden was inducted as Rector of Grace Church by The Venerable Michael Patterson, Archdeacon of Trafalgar on behalf of The Rt. Rev. Susan Bell, Bishop of Niagara.

The 21st Rector of Grace Church, Rev. Karine is the first woman to serve as Rector at the picturesque Anglican Church that overlooks Main Street in Milton.

In 2007 Rev. Karine graduated from the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College, an affiliate college of Western University. She was ordained by the Bishop of Huron in 2008. After having served in Huron and Winnipeg, Karine and her husband Thomas Snowdon returned to Ontario last September. She served as an Honorary Assistant at the Church of the Apostles in Guelph prior to her appointment to Grace.

At the beginning of the ceremony, surrounded by Grace Church’s glorious stained glass windows, the congregation was presented with soaring organ music by Vivaldi and the exceptional tenor voice of Michael Taylor who sang: Handel’s ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace’.

The Archdeacon of Trafalgar, the Venerable Michael Patterson greeted those present and the Bible was read by Rev. Karine’s husband, Thomas Snowden. At the close of the excerpt from the first book of Kings, Chapter 19, are the memorable words: ‘the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.’

After further Bible readings and time of reflection, Grace Church’s outstanding choir sang: ‘We are not alone, God is with us….’

The music throughout the service was wonderfully inspirational. The Music Director and Organist was Dr. Richard Barney Smith. The remarkable quality of the music was due to the talents of the organist and every choir member, especially the beautiful voice of soloist Juliette Jackson. The structure of the church building and the tuneful voices of the congregation all helped produce magnificent harmony.

The Venerable Tanya Phibbs was the preacher at the ceremony. She currently serves as the Executive Archdeacon of Huron and is a friend and former colleague of Rev. Karine. She asked the congregation: “What would happen if each of you took time to know God intimately and well?” Recalling a scene from the Beatles movie ‘The Yellow Submarine’, she mentioned that in life there are many doors and possibilities. “It’s a good thing that there are lots of options and different choices….Rev. Karine is different: She speaks with a female voice…..She may ask ‘Why do you do that here?’ …Differences help growth to happen.

Don’t take yourselves too seriously! Develop a good sense of humour. Changes take time.” Then she told the tale of when St. Teresa fell off her donkey. The saint asked God “Why did that happen?” and God answered “That’s how I treat my friends!”

Symbolic gifts were presented to Rev. Karine by members of the congregation and honoured guests. The gifts included a key, a stole, a Bible, prayer and hymn books, water and oil. Some words that accompanied these gifts were: ‘let the doors of this place be open to everyone…let us welcome all……Karine, be among us as reconciler and healer….. be among us in wisdom and humility, in discernment and good humour.’

Rev. Karine was then inducted as the 21st Rector of Grace Church. Prayers were said; communion was shared; blessings were given and a meal was enjoyed by all who stayed afterwards for fellowship and friendship.

The service closed in anticipation of a new chapter in the life of Grace Church, guided by the Rev. Karine Snowdon who is greatly looking forward to her “continued ministry with the people of Grace as (they) go forward together in love and service to God and God’s Son Jesus Christ.”

In the words of Saint Teresa of Avila that were quoted in the programme:

‘Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which He looks with compassion on this world.’
Photos by: Denise Cooperwhite

Jenny Panda
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