On Saturday May 30, 2015 the Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, installed the Rev. Scot McComas as rector of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Keller, Texas. It was a joyous celebration of new ministry.
Our church wardens, Bob Bess, Charles Busey and Gregory Anderson presented Scot to the bishop: “Bishop High, we have come together today to welcome Scot McComas, who has been chosen to serve as rector of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. We believe that he is well qualified, and that he has been prayerfully and lawfully selected.”
Bishop High asked Scot, “Do you in the presence of this congregation commit yourself to this new trust and responsibility?” I do.
Bishop High asked our congregation, “Will you who witness this new beginning support and uphold Scot in this ministry?” We will.
We prayed for our congregational life together, for the Holy spirit to move among us, for our mission, for our community and the world, singing the Litany for Ordinations, led by our cantor, Jim Wilson. Bishop High concluded the litany with this collect:
Everliving God, strengthen and sustain Scot, that with patience and understanding he may love and care for your people; and grant that together they may follow Jesus Christ, offering to you their gifts and talents; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Bishop High preached a sermon with a little extra humor, but he got down to business of telling us some things to consider as we enter this new relationship and begin to do Jesus’s work together. Bishop High’s sermon covered three areas: trust, action, and advice from someone who’s been there. Listen to Bishop High’s sermon here:
The induction ceremony is full of symbols – symbols of leadership, symbols of participation, and symbols that help us see and feel God’s presence among us. The search committee presented a Bible, that Scot would be among us as one who proclaims the Word. The bishop presented Scot with water to help him baptize. The youth of our parish presented Scot a stole that they made, inviting Scot to be among us as pastor and priest. Members of the Order of the Daughters of the King and our study groups presented a book prayers, that Scot would be among us as a man of prayer. The altar guild gave oil, that Scot would be a healer and reconciler. Our wardens presented keys to the church, that our doors may be open to all people. Representatives of the clergy gave Scot the Constitution and Canons, charging Scot to obey the canons, and asking him to share in the councils of our diocese. Lay Eucharistic ministers presented bread and wine, asking Scot to be among us to break the bread and bless the cup. Acolytes gave a symbol of their office, a thurible, and asked Scot to be among us as one who worships the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Our choir presented hymnals, asking Scot to be among us as one who sings praises to the Lord. Outreach ministries presented food, asking Scot to help us remember to care for the poor and needy among us. Representatives of St. Martin’s Episcopal School presented Scot the school children’s cross and a school t-shirt, asking Scot to help us to continue to strengthen the formation and education of our children and youth. Sammy Raffael, with joy and a giant grin, showed the exuberance the entire congregation felt.
Father Scot knelt humbly in the midst of our church, among us all, and prayed:
O Lord my God, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; yet you have called your servant to stand in your house, and to serve at your altar. To you and to your service I devote myself, body, soul, and spirit. Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me do. Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and grant that I may faithfully administer your holy Sacraments, and by my life and teaching set forth your true and living Word. Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my ministry. In prayer, quicken my devotion; in praises, heighten my love and gratitude; in preaching, give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn into your blessed kingdom. All this I ask for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
And the bishop presented our new rector to us, and we shared the peace of our Lord, full of the joy and anticipation of the new mutual ministry before us all – our rector, our congregation, our diocese, clergy and laity, together.
After communion and more joyful hymns, Scot gave his blessing to us:
Let love be genuine, hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good, love one another with mutual affection, outdo one another in showing honor; love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself; and may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with you this day and remain with you for evermore. Amen
Our deacon, the Rev. Henry Penner dismissed us, sending us out:
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power and the fruits of the Spirit. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Scot was supported by his family, from colleagues at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas where he served as upper school chaplain and faculty in the department of religion, by clergy from the Diocese of Dallas, and by a host of members of two former Dallas-area congregations. We were blessed to have the support of three other priests with deep roots at St. Martin-in-the-Fields: Frank Reeves and Jim Reynolds, retired rectors, and Amy Haynie, former assisting priest. For anyone keeping count, Father Scot is our church’s third rector.
We enjoyed a reception and got to meet Scot’s family, meet his friends, and enjoy fellowship and good food.
Thanks be to God for this day and this celebration!
We invite you to enjoy photos of this day on Facebook (tag yourself!) and in our Flickr photo album (here’s how to download them). You will also enjoy what our diocese published about Scot’s installation.