Cornerstone & Commissioning Ceremony
During the ceremony, our Rector, the Rev. Morgan S. Allen, offered “The Address” for the occasion:
Dear People of God,
More than seventy years ago, a newly formed community of faith declared that this would be holy ground: dedicated to the glory of the Good Shepherd, and offered for the hope of the world. These faithful souls sowed in love, with nothing more than their hope in Jesus Christ as assurance their efforts would take root. In the decades following, the Good News has been proclaimed here – in deed, as in word – and at this altar the mysteries of our God have been prayed with joy and wonder.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, our continuing fellowship is the fruit of their labor.
Indeed, all of us who gather this morning and who gather week after week, are inheritors of their courage, their generosity, and their sacrifice. Now, in the setting of this new cornerstone, we renew their commitments of love and service and we receive them as our own, sealing our promises in the very foundation of this sacred space: our hope, our generosity, and our sacrifice, all to the glory of God. Friends, take heart: this faithful labor is not completing, but beginning.
In the marriage rite, the congregation prays that God will grant the new couple, “such fulfillment of their mutual affection, that they may reach out in love and concern for others.” In this moment, God commissions the couple who has been blessed to become a blessing, and we witnesses pray that their love would be so full it spills into the lives of all those they greet.
In the same marriage of privilege and responsibility, we who have been so richly blessed by this Good Shepherd community – church and school – now seek to become a blessing for new neighbors at Good Shepherd on the Hill. Indeed, we now become seed for a new generation, presenting to the Lord “our selves, our souls and bodies,” a living sacrifice not only on this corner of Windsor and Exposition, but at Woodland Avenue, across this city of Austin, and into the world.
By these outward and visible signs, we pray that we would become an ever-increasing Beloved Community, that “the whole world [would] see and know that things which were cast down, are being raised up; and things which had grown old, are being made new; and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Under the banner of the King of kings, let it be so.
Photos by Patricia Adams Photography