On the Feast of St. Nicholas, December 6, 2015, the Rev. Judith Upham celebrated 40 years of ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church. St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church celebrated this milestone and prayed for Judy’s continuing ministry.
Listen to this part of our worship:
Judy spoke about her ordination and ministry:
I was deaconed and priested at the same place, in Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis Missouri. When I was ordained a deacon, it was on the feast of St. Nicholas. I was ordained a priest on the Feast of Epiphany. There was a raging snowstorm that day and we had people coming from even Peoria, Illinois, and a bunch of Roman Catholic nuns coming for the service (Lauren was one of them.) Since I was the first woman ordained for miles and miles and miles around, I had great fun. I was on all three TV stations that came to cover the ordination, and I don’t know how many radio talk shows. I kept reminding myself that it was because I was the first; if I had been the second, nobody would have cared.
I am so lucky. I’ve enjoyed it, to say the least.
The Rev. Scot McComas shared a little about Judy’s ministry at St. Martin’s:
As Judy continues her great ministry here leading the EFM program, as well as celebrating and preaching, she’ll be preaching the weekend of MLK weekend. As you may know Lauren and Judy did a pilgrimage down to Selma, Alabama this past summer, and we look forward to her sermon that weekend.
St. Martin’s prayed:
Almighty and everlasting God, from whom comes every good and perfect gift: we give you great thanks for sending your Holy Spirit to this your servant Judy, to dedicate her life as a deacon and priest in your church. We continue to ask you to be with her. Give her your sense of grace and peace, a healthful spirit by your grace, and may she continue to please you and to serve here in this parish and wherever you take her next. Continue to pour upon her the blessings you have given her; encourage her and strengthen her for this ministry. We pray this, O God, in the name of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ, our Lord.